My Hero (song)

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"My Hero"
Foo Fighters My Hero UK CD.jpg
Single by Foo Fighters
from the album The Colour and the Shape
ReleasedJanuary 19, 1998
StudioGrandmaster Recorders, Hollywood, CA
GenreAlternative rock, post-grunge
LabelRoswell, Capitol
Songwriter(s)Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel and Pat Smear
Producer(s)Gil Norton
Foo Fighters singles chronology
"My Hero"
"Walking After You"
Alternate cover
Japanese CD
Japanese CD
Audio sample

"My Hero" is a song by American rock group Foo Fighters. It was released in January 1998 as the third single from their second album, The Colour and the Shape (1997). The song reached number 6 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

Song information[edit]

Although the song was first released on The Colour and the Shape album in 1997, it had been played live as early as 1995.

According to Dave Grohl, the song is dedicated to ordinary, everyday heroes, as he himself never had musical or sports heroes growing up as a child.[1] During Foo Fighters' appearance on VH1 Storytellers in 2009, Grohl explained that the song was written while watching 1980s movies like Valley Girl. Grohl also stated that the song was written about Pete Stahl and Chip Donaldson, without even knowing it. Many people misattribute the song to Grohl's close friend & former Nirvana band-mate Kurt Cobain.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Dave Grohl. It features a man running into a burning building to rescue a woman's baby, another woman's dog, and finally a picture frame of the first woman. The eyes of both the baby and the dog are blocked out to show they represent people in need everywhere. The camera follows the man throughout the video, with his face never being shown. It is presented in a continuous "long take" format, although actual transitional cuts are disguised by smoke. During shots inside the building, the band is seen performing the song, seemingly unconcerned about the chaos around them. It is the only Foo Fighters video to feature guitarist Franz Stahl, who replaced Pat Smear (Stahl did not appear in the video for the next and last single from the album, 1998's "Walking After You", as it featured only Grohl).

In the media[edit]

The song was featured in the movie Varsity Blues during the climactic scene of the final football game. The scene was later parodied in the 2001 film Not Another Teen Movie. The song also appeared in the 2010 films Somewhere and The Other Guys when part of the song was heard during the scene where two characters (played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) jump to their death (the song ending rather abruptly when they hit the ground). Perhaps as a tribute to the use in the latter film (as it took place in the city), New York radio station WNYL used the song to launch its alternative rock format on November 17, 2017.

In a post-September 11 episode of CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (September 21, 2001), Grohl and bassist Nate Mendel performed an acoustic rendition of the song. A full group acoustic version is available on the 2006 live album and DVD Skin and Bones. An acoustic version was also performed live on The Howard Stern Show by Grohl. The 2006 album Sound of Superman features an acoustic cover of "My Hero" by Paramore.

My Hero was featured in the game Gran Turismo 2. The song, along with the rest of the album, was released as downloadable content for the Rock Band series of music video games on November 13, 2008.

It is also one of 38 songs included on the benefit album, Songs for Japan (compiled in response to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku), released on March 25, 2011.

Objection to use in 2008 presidential campaign[edit]

In 2008, the Foo Fighters criticized the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain for using their song at rallies without their permission.

Foo Fighters responded to the incident saying: "It's frustrating and infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property. . . The saddest thing about this is that 'My Hero' was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song."[2]

The McCain campaign has noted that the song was used properly under blanket licensing (which does not require the artist's permission), and all proper royalties were paid.[3]

However, the band played a stripped down, acoustic version of the song live,[4] during an appearance at the end of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Previously Republican President George W. Bush had used Foo Fighters' 2003 single "Times Like These" during his 2004 re-election campaign without the band's knowledge or consent. This prompted the band to perform a slew of shows in support of Democratic candidate John Kerry.

Other versions[edit]

Track listings[edit]

UK single[edit]

  1. "My Hero" - 4:21
  2. "Baker Street" (Gerry Rafferty cover) - 5:39
  3. "Dear Lover" - 4:34
  4. Enhanced section Containing:

Japan special edition maxi single[edit]

  1. "My Hero"
  2. "Requiem" (Killing Joke cover)
  3. "Drive Me Wild" (Vanity 6 cover)
  4. "Down in the Park" (Gary Numan cover)
  5. "Baker Street" (Gerry Rafferty cover)
  6. "See You" (acoustic)
  7. "For All the Cows" (Live at Toshiba-EMI Ltd on 2 April 1997 in Japan)

Australian single[edit]

  1. "My Hero"
  2. "Dear Lover"
  3. "For All the Cows" (Live at Toshiba-EMI Ltd on 2 April 1997 in Japan)

Charts and certifications[edit]



The song has been covered by:

Dave Grohl also played a solo version of it in Radio 1's live lounge


  1. ^
  2. ^ Foos Fight McCain over film use, BBC News, 09/10/2008
  3. ^ "Christopher Sprigman and Siva Vaidhyanathan - Cue 'Barracuda'". 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  4. ^ "Foo Fighters Strip Down With Acoustic Set at DNC". Rolling Stone. 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  5. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  6. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. January 31, 1998. p. 12. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  7. ^ "Foo Fighters: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  11. ^ Foo Fighters - Billboard Canada Rock (part 2) Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  13. ^ "British single certifications – Foo Fighters – My Hero". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 July 2017. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type My Hero in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]