From Our House to Yours – Baron Wolman – Joni Mitchell – Story behind the Image


This Baron Wolman photograph of Joni Mitchell was taken in 1968 at her home in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. At the time, she lived there with Graham Nash, then a member of the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It happened to be the location later immortalized in the Graham Nash composition “Our House” released by CSNY in 1970. In Nash’s own words, here’s how the song came to be written.
“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.”