Seven Questions With Alan Cross

Alan Cross is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.    

Throughout his 40 years in the broadcasting and music business Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock and is also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like the long-running show, The Ongoing History of New Music.

We caught up with Alan to ask him a few questions before he takes the stage at TEDxWinnipeg 2019. Get to know Alan a bit better:

Why are you excited to speak at TEDxWinnipeg?

I’ve been a fan of TED events for years, so it’s nice to finally be able to participate in one myself. Besides, I’m originally from Stonewall so it’s a nice chance to come home. Maybe my parents will attend so they can get a better idea of what I do for a living. They’re still unsure and are deathly afraid that I’m going to move back into my basement bedroom any minute.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Sitting on a lounge charge on a summer evening with my two English bull terriers on my lap. Nothing better than that.

How do you want to be remembered?

As someone who was able to help people learn to enjoy music more and in different ways. Second, my personal philosophy is “He who dies with the most stories wins.” I want to be known as someone with a lot of stories.

Who’s going to play you in the movie of your life?

Good question. Is there a BuzzFeed quiz that can help me with this?

How did you come up with your idea, and how did you develop it into something shareable?

I’ve been involved with broadcasting and the music industry for almost 40 years, so I’ve had a ringside seat on all the changes technology has wrought. The last fifteen years has been particularly disruptive, too. My goal is to show people some of the unknown ways tech has altered our consumption of music. The changes have been pretty profound.

What’s one book have you recommended more than twice?

The Three Body Problem by Chinese sci-fi master Liu Cixin. It and its three sequels are by far the best sci-fi works I’ve read in decades. A synopsis: Earth sends a signal to the stars looking for aliens. The aliens respond with this message: “Stay right where you are. We’ll be there to invade in 450 years.”

What TED Talk do you think everyone should see?

Amanda Palmer’s on the art of asking for money. As someone who chronically undervalues my worth when it comes to my expertise–a complete corollary of the Kruger-Dunning syndrome–I admire people who assign a value to what they do and stick to it.

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