On January 27 2022, Neil Young’s back catalogue disappeared from Spotify. He justifiably took issue with the streaming giant hosting a podcast by Joe Rogan which spread disinformation about vaccines. “You can have Neil Young or Joe Rogan,” he said. Ultimately, they chose Joe Rogan. Their giving him a platform has created bad publicity, but his nasty work is easy to ignore. Spotify aren’t forcing you to listen to his podcast, of course, just as they’ve not made it a legal requirement to stream a bland piece of music you hate every time you log in. In a free world, we all make our own choices and Neil has made his.
On 2nd October 2017, Tom Petty died following a heart attack. His unexpected passing marked one of the blackest days of the year, since Tom always felt like someone who would always be there and always be part of life’s fabric. The fact that he left behind a marvellous body of work – most of which never seems to age – means that in some way, he’ll always be a part of millions of lives, but the idea that we’ll never hear a new Tom Petty album is very hard to comprehend, especially so soon after critically acclaimed works like ‘Hypnotic Eye’ and ‘Nobody’s Child.
Those last records featured tracks that were potentially as solid as anything Petty had ever recorded, lending weight to the fact that he was one of the finest and arguably most consistent songwriters of his generation.
On 16th November 2015, Real Gone celebrates its 6th birthday. In some ways, it’s not an important anniversary – it has none of the milsetone charm of a fifth anniversary, or reaching a decade of creativity – but on the other hand, every year Real Gone exists it’s a milestone, nonetheless. People are still reading; bands are still hitting us up for review and we’re still attempting to open people’s ears to a world of cult music.