"The fact that so many books still name the Beatles "the greatest or most significant or most influential" rock band ever only tells you how far rock music still is from becoming a serious art."Piero Scaruffi (born 1955) is an Italian cognitive scientist but also a self-described author, poet, cultural historian, music historian, film historian, political commentator, visual artist, lecturer, software consultant and entrepreneur. He is recognized among internet music and film buffs for his insanely comprehensive database that features biographies and ratings for 8,000 musicians, some hundred film directors, writers and visual artists.In the blogosphere, he's infamous for, and partially reduced on, his controversial essay about English rock band The Beatles (see opening quote). Because of his frequently contrarian opinions on otherwise acclaimed music, as well as his praise for more independent and experimental music, he has acquired a cult following among internet music fans. For the same reason, some have cited American rock critic Lester Bangs as an influence on Scaruffi's approach to rock music. These claims, however, have never been confirmed by Scaruffi himself.
— Piero Scaruffi on The Beatles
Tropes associated with Scaruffi:
- Author Filibuster: His essay on the Beatles.
- Bias Steamroller: A noted example. He ranks jazz, classical music, and avant-garde miles above any other musical genres, particularly pop/rock.
- Bilingual Bonus: His website is largely written in both Italian and English. Sometimes the English version is only, however, a short summary rather than a full translation of the Italian text.
- Broke the Rating Scale: He doesn't give ratings to far-out experimental, classical and jazz music.
- Caustic Critic: And how.Scaruffi: "Rock critics are often totally ignorant of the rock music of the past, they barely know the best sellers. No wonder they will think that the Beatles did anything worth of being saved."
- Celebrity Resemblance: He looks a lot like Dan Brown.
- Four Point Scale: Averted. He never gave a perfect score, and most of his ratings fall into the 5-7 range.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his polemic opinions, he recommends charity, is a Free-Tibet activist and has friends all over the world due to his extensive travelling.
- Large Ham: Subverted. His infamously pompous diction on his website and his Italian origin (see the clishee described in the Large Ham article) indicates that he could be quite hammy in Real Life, but he's actually quite a reserved guy as you can see in his lectures.
- Last-Name Basis: Most people refer to him simply as Scaruffi.
- Only Sane Man: His attitude towards himself with respect to professional music criticism.Scaruffi: "Rock critics are still blinded by commercial success."Scaruffi: "The vast majority of critics are more interested in getting free promos from labels than in telling their readers the truth, and the best way to get on a label's mailing list is to help publicists sell the label's music."
- Renaissance Man: He has considerable knowledge and reputation both as a neuroscientist and a cultural critic. Also as, aforementioned, a self-described poet and artist.
- It should be noted this term is sometimes used tongue-in-cheek by his fans to describe his broad database.
- Rule-Abiding Rebel: How he sees The Beatles. His beef with the Fab Four is that everyone proclaims how innovative they were while they stuck to standard pop song structures.
- Serious Business: He compares Beatles' fans with religious fundamentalists.
- Small Reference Pools: Averted in rock music and jazz, where his taste is for the obscure, difficult, angsty and out-of-the-way, but played dead straight in his taste in classical music, which is remarkably conventional: for details, see here.
- Straw Critic: Frequently accused of that, since he prefers Darker and Edgier experimental music.
- Theory Tunnelvision: His critics claim that he ignores evidence that doesn't support his opinions.note