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Acid Queen: Flashback to Tina Turner's Stony Turn in 'Tommy'

Tina Turner wielding a needle in the Acid Queen scene in "Tommy."

The Tina documentary on HBO got us thinking about when Tina Turner played the Acid Queen in the Tommy movie in 1975. Originally written by Pete Townsend and performed as part of the rock opera by The Who in 1969, "Acid Queen" is about a prostitute who gives the deaf, dumb and blind Tommy LSD "to put him right," she sings, "just give me one night."

Six years after the album, Ken Russell enlisted Turner to depict the lascivious Acid Queen in his big-screen adaptation of Tommy that also featured Elton John, Ann-Margret and Jack Nicholson.

Turner recorded a shorter version of the song on her Acid Queen album, also in 1975. That album is a collector's item.

Here's The Who's original...

While Turner's tale of abuse at the hands of Ike Turner, her former husband and musical partner, has been told before, Tina powerfully documents how the singer recovered and regrouped to become an international pop star in the '80s and finally found love later in her life. 

 

"Acid Queen" Lyrics

Tina Turner’s 1975 "Acid Queen" single

If your child ain't all he should be now
This girl will put him right
I'll show him what he could be now
Just give me one night

I'm the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I'm the gypsy and I'm guaranteed
To mend his aching heart

Give us a room, close the door
Leave us for a while
You won't be a boy no more
Young, but not a child

I'm the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I'm the gypsy, I'm guaranteed
To tear your soul apart

Gather your wits and hold them fast
Your mind must learn to roam
Just as the gypsy queen must do
You're gonna hit the road

My work's been done, now look at him
He's never been more alive
His head it shakes, his fingers clutch
Watch his body writhe

I'm the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I'm the gypsy, I'm guaranteed
To break your little heart

If your child ain't all he should be now
This girl will put him right
I'll show him what he could be now
Just give me one more night

I'm the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I'm the gypsy, I'm guaranteed
To tear your soul apart

 

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.