Graham Nash Recalls How Joni Mitchell Inspired Him To Write Crosby, Stills, And Nash’s Hit Song ‘House’
The co-founder, songwriter, and vocalist of the folk-supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, Graham Nash, recently gave an interview on Apple Music’s Zane Lowe Show and talked about his romance with legendary songwriter Joni Micthell while revealing the heartwarming story behind the band’s iconic song ‘Our House.’
As you know, Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer and songwriter who has been applauded by millions for her skills and is seen as one of the best musicians of all time. She has received numerous accolades and 9 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Crosby, Stills & Nash were huge fans of Joni Mitchell, and not just of her music.
David Crosby was one of the first people to appreciate Joni Mitchell’s talents and the duo started dating around 1967 and he actually produced her debut album. However, the couple broke up after Joni caught Crosby cheating on her more than once. A couple of years later Graham Nash and Joni fell in love and they ended up living in her house in Laurel Canyon.
This brings us to the inspiration for Crosby, Stills & Nash’s iconic song ‘Our House.’ In his recent interview, Nash said that he had the inspiration for it after their breakfast with Joni. While walking to the car to get to their house, they came across an antique store and Joni really liked a vase.
She happily bought it and the couple started driving towards their home. When they reached the front door, Nash told Joni that she could go and pick some flowers to put in her new vase while he lights the fire for them. That moment felt so sincere and peaceful for the rockstar, as his and Mitchell’s lives were far from ordinary, that he decided to capture that moment in the lyrics of ‘Our House.’
Here’s what Graham Nash said during the interview (transcribed by RC):
“I was having breakfast at Art’s Deli on Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles with Joni one morning, it was the Spring of ’69. We had finished breakfast and we were walking back to Joan’s car. It was a miserable day, it was rainy and cold, like foggy. But on the way to the car, we passed an antique store, and we were curious about what lovely things were in the antique store. So, Joan and I were looking in the window and she saw a vase she wanted to buy, maybe ten inches high, some handpainted flowers around the edge. It was reasonably cheap, so Joni bought it.
As I said, it was a miserable day, we got in Joan’s car and drove down to our house in Laurel Canyon, and we got to the front door of Joan’s house and I said ‘Hey Joan, why don’t I light the fire and you put some flowers in that vase you just bought today?’ And I’m a writer you know, and therefore, I was halfway through a new song. And Joan went to the garden to pick up a few spring kind of early flowers… So, she wasn’t at her piano. That means I was. ‘Our House’ was written in about an hour and a half.”
You can check out the whole interview by clicking here and listen to ‘Our House’ below.