Friday, October 21, 2016

Two Cats in the Yard - 8217 Lookout Mountain Road


Research, is a sketchy thing, even when it comes from the source. I pieced together the "Our House" story as told by Graham Nash in a myriad of alternate versions:

"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. Suddenly, Joni was at the door and nothing  else mattered. She was the whole package: a lovely, sylphlike woman with a  natural blush, like windburn, and an elusive quality that seemed lit from  within. Behind her, at the dining room table, were my  new American friends David Crosby and Stephen Stills – refugees, like me, from  successful, broken bands. I grinned the moment I laid eyes on them.

"I had never met anybody like Crosby. He was  an irreverent, funny, brilliant hedonist who had been thrown out of The Byrds  the previous year. He always had the best drugs, the most beautiful women, and  they were always naked. Stephen was a guy in a similar mold. He was  brash, egotistical, opinionated, provocative, volatile, temperamental, and so  talented. A very complex cat, and a little crazy, he had just left Buffalo  Springfield, one of the primo L.A. bands.

"That night, while Joni listened, the three of  us sang together for the first time. I heard the future in the power of those  voices. And I knew my life would never be the same. Joni and I had first met after a Hollies show  in Ottawa, Canada in March. I'd seen this beautiful blonde in the corner by  herself, and I’d shuffled over and introduced myself.

"'I know who you are,' she said, slyly.  'That's why I'm here.' 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 [Art's], 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."