Quaker City Night Hawks Drummer Apologizes for AmericanaFest Incident

Quaker City Night Hawks drummer Aaron Haynes (photo: Brad Coolidge)

Drummer Aaron Haynes of the Ft. Worth-based Quaker City Night Hawks offered a lengthy apology early Tuesday afternoon (9-17) for his conduct at AmericanaFest last week where he berated the sound man working one of the band’s shows, and eventually punched and shoved employees of the venue, and threw parts of his drum set across the stage.

“I am embarrassed and disgusted by my actions last week at Basement East. I want to apologize to the staff, production team, management, and ownership of the venue for my actions—and to AmericanaFest for allowing this to happen during an event they bring us every year,” Aaron Haynes said. “I conducted myself entirely inappropriately, and acted out in the absolute worse way possible. I also feel an apology is due to the music community I am a part of in Nashville, and to my brothers in Quaker City Night Hawks—this in no way represents how we handle ourselves in any capacity.”

After the Americana Music Awards last Wednesday night (9-12), Paul Cauthen hosted his “Big Velvet Revue” showcase at the Basement East in Nashville as part of the week’s AmericanaFest festivities, with Randy Houser, Chris Shiflett, Jack Ingram, Aubrie Sellers, the Quaker City Nighthawks, and others scheduled to perform. Things turned ugly when the sound guy working the room was unable to get the monitors for the Ft. Worth-based band operating properly.

The Quaker City Night Hawks were the final band to perform at the showcase, and were scheduled to start at 1:20 am. After the incident, AmericanaFest canceled the Quaker City Night Hawks official showcase the next day, slotting Elizabeth Cook to fill in. Aaron Haynes also plays with The Texas Gentlemen, as well as with Brandy Zdan. Those who are close to Haynes said the behavior was completely out of character for him. An unplugged amplifier is what has been rumored as the reason the stage monitors weren’t working for the band.

“I am taking this event as a learning experience, and to seek professional counseling and treatment for my mental and physical health,” Aaron Haynes continues. “I realize I need to conduct myself in a more professional manner, and have taken the steps with the ownership and management at Basement East, personally, to make this right.”

The Quaker City Night Hawks released a new album called QCNH this year. Their next scheduled tour dates are in late October in Europe.