The Woman Who Inspired David Crosby And Graham Nash For CSNY Songs
Rock music is filled with endless muses and influences from whom artists have been inspired. Sometimes these sources are their family members or friends but might also be derived from tragic experiences. However, the No. 1 source of inspiration is most likely their love lives since countless songs depict what love is according to a particular musician.
As for two band members of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, they happened to consider the same woman their muse since they both fell in love with her. This extraordinary woman, who is also a remarkable musician, is no other than Joni Mitchell, who had affairs with David Crosby and Graham Nash in the past.
Joni Mitchell First Dated David Crosby
Joni Mitchell was already a musician playing at local venues before David Crosby helped her make a breakthrough. It all started when Crosby saw her performance one night in 1967 in a club named the Gaslight South in Florida. The rocker was immediately struck by her ability and appeal as an artist.
Fascinated by her voice, Crosby persuaded Mitchell to accompany him back to Los Angeles, where he introduced her music to his friends and helped secure her a record contract. Soon after, Mitchell was signed to the Warners-affiliated Reprise label and released her debut album, ‘Song to a Seagull,’ which was produced by Crosby.
Their relationship wasn’t all about music, as Crosby’s attraction to Mitchell was more than just musical. The musician fell in love with Joni Mitchell soon after they met, and they even lived together for a brief period. Moreover, David Crosby’s song entitled ‘Guinnevere,’ which appears on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s critically acclaimed eponymous debut album, was partially inspired by her along with two other women in his life.
Graham Nash Later Dated Joni Mitchell
Graham Nash first met Joni Mitchell when his band, the Hollies, were playing a show in 1967. After leaving his band, Mitchell invited Nash to live with her in the small cottage on leafy Lookout Mountain Avenue. The musician accepted this offer, and they started living together, which inspired him to write the song ‘Our House‘ about his time there.
In his memoir, Nash recalled meeting Mitchell for the first time:
“She was the whole package, a lovely, sylphlike woman with a natural blush and an elusive quality that seemed lit from within.”
Their romance blossomed around the same time Crosby, Stills and Nash were founded. Despite the possible emotional complications, Nash stated that Joni Mitchell’s previous relationship with David Crosby didn’t cause any trouble within the band. Furthermore, the two bandmates even lived together with Mitchell for a while, which is quite unexpected considering their past.
Eventually, Graham’s romance with Mitchell didn’t last long as they split around the time she released her 1971 album, ‘Blue.’ However, she influenced both David Crosby and Graham Nash to create two beautiful CSNY songs that their fans love and listen to even to this date.
You can listen to ‘Guinnevere’ and ‘Our House’ below.