Border stories: Randy Bachman, Jann Arden and Carolyn Mark
To hear Jann Arden tell it, the life of a musician is no easy feat.
"It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure," she exclaims.
In her nearly 25 years as a professional songstress, Arden has encountered everything on tour from hyper-diligent border guards who have "torn the bus apart," to superfans at customs who want to be serenaded every time she tries to cross into the U.S.
"You never know what you're going to get," she laughs.
While Arden says touring for a living has always been difficult, the events of Sept., 11, 2001, made a precarious practice even more trying.
"No matter where it is, no matter what time of night, even if you have all the official papers, customs officers come on the bus and everybody else has to get off and you don't know when you'll get back on," she says.
Musician Randy Bachman tells a similar story.
"You're at the mercy of the person interviewing you at the border. If you get the wrong person on the wrong day, they can make your life quite incredible," he offers.
Years of touring with The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, have equipped Bachmann to deal with the unexpected, but nothing could prepare him for what happened when The Guess Who crossed into New York to play a show the day before 9/11.
"I opened my window and I turned my TV on at the same time and I could see the same thing. I could see one of the towers with smoke coming out of it," he shares. "It was an absolutely horrific time in our lives and one I'll never forget."
Musician Carolyn Mark also found herself playing a gig in New York on Sept., 11.
"We didn't say anything between songs, we just kind of quietly played our songs and didn't say much. It was later that we realized the momentousness of that night," Mark says sombrely.
Her most vivid memories of the city that day were the silence, and what hung in the air.
"It smelled like the biggest electrical fire you've ever smelled," she remembers.
Regardless of the effect that day had on them personally, or the pressure it's put on their livelihood since, all three musicians continue to tour enthusiastically.
"I'm not going to let anything or anyone stop me from seeing the world," Arden affirms.