After Hank Williams III's screams of "fuck Solana Beach" over the P.A. system at 2006's Fiesta del Sol, city council members considered calling an end to the 27-year-old event.
"The press acted like we started a prison riot," said Williams last week. "It all started when a security guard put his arm around a kid who was just acting normally in a normal rock environment. The kid tried to start a [mosh] pit. I stood up for the kid. I make it a point to speak up once I see fans getting fucked with. If you were there, you remember there were a lot of people who chanted back, 'Bullshit.' "
Williams said he knew going in that his band should not have been booked at the community event.
"I know what Solana Beach is. I tried to get out of it. I offered $20,000 to not play that show, but no one would listen." He said he made the offer to his manager and agent. "They aren't with me anymore. It was a bad booking....
"To the families who don't understand, I say I'm sorry if I offended you, but I always say 'fuck' and 'God damn' between every song we do. Everything is not perfect in our world. Kids grow up quick now. We did what we did, and I don't have to feel ashamed at all....
"We're in a sad shape if something that harmless almost ended [Fiesta del Sol] while our troops are dying for our freedom." He said he knows San Diego still loves him. "We've played there eight or nine times. We usually cater to 400 to 1000 people. If what we did hurt a part of our business, there are plenty of surfers and skaters and tattooed people who will still be there for us and will still spread the love."
Hank Williams III appears July 21 at House of Blues.
(Ken Leighton is the talent coordinator for Fiesta del Sol.)