To celebrate Graham Nash’s birthday today, here is the story—in his own words—behind the classic “Our House,” one of the sweetest love songs ever written. Happy birthday, Graham!
“I came to live in America in 1969 and stayed with David [Crosby] for a couple of nights. He threw me a party and invited Joni [Mitchell] whom I hadn’t seen since meeting her when I played with the Hollies. After that party I went home with Joni and spent a couple of years with her in her home in Laurel Canyon.
“One day Joan and I got up and went to breakfast at a delicatessen on Ventura Boulevard, and a few doors away there was a little antique store, and in the window Joan saw this vase, went inside, fell in love with it, bought it and brought it back to the house.
“It was a kind of a cold gray morning as it sometimes can be in Los Angeles, and I said, ‘Why don’t I light the fire and you put some flowers in the vase that you just bought.” So she’s cutting stems and leaves and arranging flowers in this vase, and I’d lit the fire. Now, my and Joan’s life at the time were far from ordinary … and I thought, ‘What an ordinary moment.’ Here I am lighting the fire for my old lady and she’s putting flowers in this vase that she just bought. And I sat down at Joan’s piano and an hour later, ‘Our House’ was written.
“I think the only thing that I’ve ever really tried to do with whatever talent I was given by God, is that I want to touch people’s lives for the better. I have no choice about this writing thing; I have no idea where it comes from; I don’t want to question it too much. But I am so grateful that I can write.”
(The iconic 1969 photo of Graham and Joni was taken by the wonderful Henry Diltz [www.morrisonhotelgallery.com]. They were on the way to Big Bear to shoot photos for Crosby, Stills and Nash’s first album, and Joni went along for the ride to be with Graham.)
Category: Behind The Song