The Angels, Poppy and Marilyn Monroe
The Eyesight to the Blind (ETTB) scene is where Tommy starts to go from "very surreal" to "too freaky" in the best ways possible. Few film sequences have ever accomplished such a complete parody of organized religion in this manner and ETTB is the only parody in which a major mythic Hollywood goddess is the God. This sequence in many ways was the final seal on the endless Monroe worship strata. 99% of those is on the charts and the top of the box office today will be long, long forgotten in well under fifty years time yet a glance at nearly any Uni dorm wall and Monroe's picture is on there.
Interestingly enough, ETTB in Ken Russell's film of Tommy pre-dates MTV, cable TV, the internet and even many PinUp collector conventions where Monroe is the model and the unreachable goal post. The iconic sequence has it's genesis in an earlier film script of Ken's, a follow up to The Devils called The Angels about false religion and icon worship of female starlets. He wrote it somewhere in between Savage Messiah and Tommy. The film was going to also include a critique of American race relations and themes but was deemed so "out there" (even for Ken) by Warner Brothers that they passed. When Ken and Pete T started working on the script for Tommy The Film it was amazing how much of The Angels already fit right in. Poppy was a female character modelled after Monroe combined with an Ann-Margaret style pop songstress.