“Acid Queen” by Tina Turner

Cutting straight to the chase, the Acid Queen is a character tantamount to say a drug-dealing working girl. And basically, who she is addressing is a new customer as well as his parents.

In not getting too deep into the narrative upon which the lyrics are based, said customer is a young male. And his is one who has never had a substance-induced or sensual experience before. And ultimately, both he and the Acid Queen are meant to be more symbolic than literal. The customer is to symbolize your average dude, i.e. one who is not interested in the intricacies of life but rather fulfilling his own base desires. And the titular character herself is representative of idealized escapism as achieved through the copious consumption of drugs, sex and what have you.

Conclusively, what the song is meant to speak to is the idea that true fulfillment in life cannot be achieved via instant gratification, so to speak. It speaks against the idea of idealizing the consumption of illegal substances. It also kicks against idealizing sex and other physical pleasures during an era when those concepts began to really be embraced by the popular culture.

“I’m the gypsy, the acid queen”

Facts about “Acid Queen”

The original title of this song, i.e. when it first came out, is “The Acid Queen”. Its writer is Pete Townshend of The Who. And it was The Who who (no pun intended) originally released the tune back in 1969.

It went on to be covered by a few big names throughout the years, with Tina’s rendition being considered the most-notable cover of the 20th century. Her version was produced by Ike Turner. It was the title track of an album she dropped entitled “Acid Queen” in 1975.

This song, as originally conceptualized, is part of a concept album “The Who” came out with, once again in 1969, called “Tommy”. Said project is actually a rock opera, of which the Acid Queen is a character.

In 1975, a “Tommy” movie came out which featured a number of A-listers. Amongst them was Turner. In said movie, Tina portrayed the Acid Queen herself. 

According to history, the sentiments expressed in this song were influenced by the teachings one Meher Baba (1894-1969). Baba was an Indian spiritualist who served as the inspiration for another The Who hit, “Baba O’Riley” (1971).

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