Here's the cast of characters in this song:
Fat Albert - David Crosby
Eli - Stephen Stills
Duke - Graham Nash
Young Billy - Neil Young
Raven - Rita Coolidge
In the story, Eli and Duke battle for Raven's affections, and Eli goes off the rails. And for some reason, Raven bites Albert's thumb.
Stills and Nash both met Coolidge when they were all working on Stills' solo track "Love The One You're With
." Both guys fell for her, but Stills made his move and they started dating. What happened next Nash explained in Goldmine
"One day I found out from Rita that she also wanted to be with me. And I said, 'We have a problem here, because you're Stephen's girlfriend right now, and there's no way we can be together, with a good heart, unless we face Stephen and tell him ourselves.' So we went to Stephen and told him that we wanted to see each other. Stephen wasn't very happy. Actually, he tried to spit on me. That's basically what 'Cowboy Movie' was about."