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My Hero by Foo Fighters

Album: The Colour And The ShapeReleased: 1997Charted:
21
  • This song is about the heroes Foo Fighters guitarist and lead singer Dave Grohl had in his life, who were ordinary people who did extraordinary things. Apropos for the man who was Kurt Cobain's bandmate, Grohl has explained that he has little use for hero-worship when it comes to celebrities - especially Rock Stars. The song is written from the perspective of a kid, but it reflects Grohl's beliefs.
  • Like many of his Foo Fighters tracks, many listeners assumed that this song was about Kurt Cobain, but Grohl has explained that it isn't.
  • This was used in the 1999 movie Varsity Blues, and was also used in Sofia Coppola's movie Somewhere (2010) in a scene where the Shannon twins (Kristina and Karissa) are doing a pole dance for the hero in his hotel room. (thanks, Keely - Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • The video shows a young man rescuing many things from his home which is on fire while the band performs in it. The man's face is never shown, probably to imply that heroes are everyday people. (thanks, Sam - Portsmouth, WA)
  • Republican nominee John McCain used this song during the 2008 US presidential campaign. When the Foo Fighters learned through news reports that this was happening, they denounced his use of the track. The band said in a statement: "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."
    The Republicans replied that they had obtained and paid for licenses from performing rights organizations to play this song, along with millions of others.
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Comments: 63

I 100% believe this song is about Kurt. Listen to one of his last interviews. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DhZinLABao

He mentions sitting on a chair playing the accoustic and being able to chew gum and do anything else at the same time.

Also, the song talks about people dying on a high note.. before they get burt out or lose their fame, which I bet was a concern that Kurt had.
Bill - Denver, Co
so here's my views.... the song is about a bunch of random real people who dave looks up to. who he loves and respects. and i also believe that his drummer taylor is one of those ppl. when taylor almost overdosed it really got to dave and this song has a lot of meaning to it. so u say kurt and so on and so on... so maybe your right, maybe not who really knows but dave.Renee - Youngsville, La
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeDSAcegfU0Nick - Birmingham, United Kingdom
nirvana was not a bad band but they do owe so much to the punk rock community for instance grunge was out long before nirvana ,mudhoney should have been a hell of a lot more famous than nirvana ,sonic youth,the melvins,black flag,the pixies oh yeah the real sound from where the foo fighters came from husker du really anything that was on sst records or cargo back in the dayJeremy - Memphis, Tn
I think especially in the beginning when that song was released Kurt hadn't been gone that long. Dave probably didn't want to come off like he was playing on public sentiment, so he didn't want to come out and say "this is about Kurt". I don't blame him. His intentions could have easily been taken out of context. That's just a totally unconfirmed hunch.Sean Dana - Milpitas, Ca
I've heard Dave say that it wasn't about Kurt, but that was always really hard to believe. There are just too many lyrical coincidences that point to Kurt. "Too alarming to talk about, take your pictures down and shake it out" (that sounds like a Kurt reference from a fans point of view). "there goes my hero, watch him as he goes" (either watching Kurt spiral out of control or watching him in amazement as he worked the stage). It goes on... It was at least partially inspired by Kurt. As for them not being friends... that's not true. In the beginning, it took some time for Kurt to warm up to him but they were good friends. Toward the end they had some disputes over royalties, but they were always friends. I recorded an album at Barrett Jones' studio (Laundry Room Studios) where the first Foo Fighters record was done also Nirvana's "Carmudgeon" single. Barrett is Dave's childhood friend. Needless to say, we talked about things a little bit.Sean Dana - Milpitas, Ca
Wrong wrong wrong. I literally just watched Dave talk about this at a acoustic set. As you know Dave talks alot at his concerts....He literally said this ong was from one of the very early albums and it was one of those songs that was used as a filler because they need more songs. He said he wrote it in 2 mins and about nothing in particular....Over the years looking back on the song he thought to himself, hmm maybe I did write it about something in particular without knowing it, he said he had heros in his life, not from kiss, not famous people but regular people that he looked up to....It is not about Kurt in particular, he could be one of those people but dont read too much into I heard it from Dave Grohl's mouth!!!

BTW for a band to redo a song they have to have permission and 9 out of 10 times they have to let the original band hear their version before moving forward with it if the band is still around, so for those of you saying paramore shouldnt have touched it, if dave and they guys thot they were wrothy youre basically calling the foo fighters dumb. Hailey aint Dave true but she has some pipes they did a great job.
Airyn - Lapeer, Mi
The person who cannot see that this is song clearly about Pat Boone and Guy Lombardo is blind sir. Blind.Mike - Matawan, Nj
This song is about Curt Cobain. We could all say that it applies to many ordinary people who made extra ordinary happen, and so was Curt an ordinary man. BUT dig the lyrics deep. Curt cobain says repeatedly in songs that he is writes his lyrics in a state of subconscious awareness. in "OH ME" he says "I dont have to think i only have to do it, results are always perfect...", in "Stay Away" he wrote "every line ends in rhythm". first verse in "My Hero" reads "Truth or Consequence, say it aloud", could that be a coincidence?Zhiges - Plano, Tx
ITS ABOUT KURT nomatter what anyone else says. IT IS! i watched an interview with grohl saying if he could change any one thing it would be to bring back Kurt. Who was his hero.Lin Lin - Pinson, Al
This song, is basically saying, don't look at your comic books to find your heros, because when your life is on the line, they won't be there to save you and neither will the famous people you look up to. The people that will be there to save you or help you, when you need it most, will be the people that are "everyday people" or "ordinary" like: firemen, ambulance drivers, parents, doctors, nurses, ect.
This song, has really inspired me. I thought when I was young that people like Dale Earnhardt, Rockers, you know, people that we tend to look up to; were amazing but this song pushed me to look for a 'real' hero.
It really made me think who would be there to save me? Who'd really care that much as to save a stranger? I thought about it, for a long time. I found half of the people i thought of were friends or the people i love, not a rockstar or a famous person.
I want to be an ordinary hero when i grow up.
Natalie - Philadelphia, Pa
asdf89 (from Pueblo, CO) I'm afraid you're dead wrong.

There's no way in hell the Foo Fighters are Republicans, just by looking at the list of causes on their website that they support: http://www.foofighters.com/community_cause.html, looks like they're fans of Ralph Nader, are solid environmentalists, and support Howard Dean's initiatives "against the influence of the far right-wing and their radical, divisive policies and the selfish special interests that for too long have dominated our politics".

You better believe it that it was the *McCain* campaign that used My Hero (NOT the Obama campaign). If you don't believe me, then check out these news articles:
MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27090226/
Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/oct/09/foo.fighters.slam.john.mccain
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/08/foo-fighters-tell-mccain_n_133104.html
Even the conservative Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/10/09/john-mccain-no-hero-to-foo-fighters/
Eco - Chicago, Il
This is one of the best rock songs of the decade. It is a passionate eulogy to Kurt Cobain. Yes, this song can apply to the everyday person or any other "hero", but look at the first verse. Don't the best of them bleed it out; Cobain, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, etc. While the rest of them peter out; casino reunion tours. This song was released within 3 years of Cobain's death. How could Grohl not write a song about a dear friend? Cobain was an ordinary person whose worst nightmares came true when he became famous. That is a true hero, they don't want any recognition (like the video) and they do/create something that will last forever.Joe - Stevenson, Wa
It wasn't the republicans using this song, it was the demacrats!Foo Fighters are rebublicans!Obama was using this song, not john mcain!!!Asdf89 - Pueblo, Co
anybody here hear the acoustic version, im my opinion it's much betterNick - Edmonton, Canada
incredible song but wtf is "kudos"?Tuval - Modi'in, Israel
I love this song but does anyone know what the main theme is?Jane - Sydney, Australia
First off, does it really matter who the song is about? It is an amazing song that is filled with the raw passion of Dave Grohl belting out his emotions. Would it make it a better song just because he wrote it about Kurt? Absolutely not. It's something personal to Dave, and that's what is important. Second, it is argued below whether which band, Nirvana or the Foo Fighters, were the better band. That's a ridiculous arguement. They are both amazing in their our respects. Both have gifted musicians--artists. And art of this caliber is to be valued just by enjoying its creativity and emotion. You don't judge it against other pieces or art. Lighten up people. That's what Kurt would say.
-Charlie, Plymouth, MI
Chaz - Plymouth, Mi
To all of you who believe its about me
u are completely right
Dave Grohl was a great drummer for my band
and he loved me dearly <3
Kurt Cobain - Heaven, Ri
Nirvana was good, and the Kurt Cobain killed himself so now he is a legend. This song isn't about Kurt Cobain. But just as everyone made Kurt into a legend AFTER he died, they are trying to euligize him through Dave Grohl's lyrics. Dave's moved on...shouldn't you??? The best thing that came out of Cobain's death was Dave Grohl. Would we have known what an incredible artist he was if he had continued to drum for Nirvana? Doubt it!

PS...Nirvana wasn't the grunge revolution...remember Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Temple of the Dog, Mother love bone????
Teena - Mesa, Az
Dude, Optimus: I only half agree with you. Personally I like the Foo Fighters better, but Nirvana was so uniquely talented that they deserve all of the acclaimation they recieved. But you're right, this song is not about Kurt.Llama - Denver, Co
Well here you go guys, and these are the words of Mr Grohl himself.....MY HERO
What kind of hero were you thinking of?
"Heroes are a funny thing. When I was young I had KISS posters and I listened to Rush and thought the Beatles were magicians. But the real heroes in my life were people that I was close to. Pete Stahl who was the singer of Scream (Grohl's pre-Nirvana band) was one. I was 17 years old when we hit the road and that guy showed me the ropes, so to me he was a hero. And family members ...my mom's a saint. She raised two kids with no money and we managed to be a happy family, so she seems like a hero to me."
Did Kurt Cobain figure in your thinking at all?
"After Kurt died, the whole idea of hero worship or idolatry warped into something I thought was strange. You take a human being and you turn them into a deity. It's really bizarre. I remember I was driving around Ireland when I was trying to get away from that whole fiasco after Kurt died. I was in the middle of nowhere and it was beautiful. But then I was driving down a country road and I saw a hitch hiker with a Kurt Cobain t-shirt on so my perception of a hero kind of changed. If you listen to the lyrics to the song it's all about an ordinary hero. Just a regular person."
Soraya - Jersey, United Kingdom
This song was solely based on the O.J. Simpson trial. O.J. Simpsom singing to F.Lee Bayle "his heroe" for helping him beat the charges on the double murder of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman .Mannny - New York, Ny
also Optimus if Dave Grohl read what you commented he would slap you in the face, dont be so disrespectful

Kurt is a rock legend, Dave is extremely talented but he doesnt have the appeal of Kurt
Me - London, United Kingdom
i read in a interview that the song was originaly written about kurt, but then dave decided to cover up the meaning with the video for the song, and answers in interviews

twas a while ago a read it so i cant remember most of it though =I
Me - London, United Kingdom
Seriously people.

It's not about Kurt Cobain.

Retards like a lot of you guys think every song by the Foo Fighters is about Kurt Cobain.

First off, just to rub it in everyone's face: Foo Fighters are better than Nirvana ever was, and Dave Grohl is far better than Kurt Cobain. End of story.

Also, Foo Fighters has one official song commemorating Kurt, and that's Friend of a Friend. I admit there might be a bit more, but honestly, I know that not nearly as many of their songs are based on him as people (stupidly) think there is.
Optimus - Nowhere, Ar
Read the lyrics guys...it's clearly not a happy song about previous hero's...its about real loss...it's obviously about Kurt...Laila - Montreal, Qc
My guess is he really did write this about the solid people he's known throughout his life, friends and family and the like, who inspired him. I'm sure Kurt was one of these people and Dave probably thought of him while writing the song, but I doubt that Kurt is the sole inspiration of the song.Chuck - Joppa, Md, Md
It's not about Kurt at all.
He stated that he grew up with no real idols and he had "Ordinary people" as his heroes.
Sandy - London, United Kingdom
Not ever single of Foo's songs are about Kurt.Eric - Delta, Pa
Look it's definitly about KurtBaylee - Chch, New Zealand
MY HERO
"That's my way of saying that when I was young, I didn't have big rock heroes, I didn't want to grow up and be some big sporting hero. My heroes were ordinary people and the people that I have a lot of respect for are just solid everyday people - people you can rely on."

Dave Grohl
Frank - Thornton, Co
What about OJ Simpson and that whole spectacle? The first 10 lines explained...

Too alarming now to talk about (Hejust murdered his wife and Ronald?shhhh)
Take your pictures down and shake it out (Before the jury came through his house, he took his old pictures down and put up ones of his black family instead of the ones he had up. I distinctly remember this being an issue in the trial).
Truth or consequence, say it aloud (When asked how OJ pleaded before going to trial he said ?Absolutely 100% not guilty?, which screams guilt but saying it aloud like that. Why not just say ?Not Guilty? like the rest of the public would.)
Use that evidence, race it around (What were the cops accused of? Planting evidence and then using the race card). Another DUH.

There goes my hero (Watching on TV seeing OJ drive by in the bronco)
Watch him as he goes (Also all those people watching on the highway and cheering him on)
There goes my hero (OJ)
He's ordinary (Just OJ, not a football hero but an ordinary man who committed murder)

Don't the best of them bleed it out (Hmmm, let?s see, Nicole and Ronald maybe? Weren?t they the ?better? ones? What did they do but bleed to death?)
While the rest of them peter out (Jury acquitting after all the evidence against him).

Just my view of the song's meaning.
Dave - Sioux City, Ia
I personally don't know what David Grohl or the rest of the group were thinking, but in my head when he sings this song - it is my memory of my husband waving goodbye as he headed off to several war zones, several times. I should hope it is that personal to many others. My thanks for it being performed so beautifully at The Tabernacle in Atlanta October 2007. It is my favorite song, and will remain my ringtone until my husband retires from being a special forces member of the US Army. Thanks Dave and band.Brenda - Atlanta, Ga
not*Anna - Houston, Tx
if this songs noy about kurt cobain it kinda ruins it for meAnna - Houston, Tx
To be honest, im surprised no one has posted the actual meaning behind this song. My Hero is not about Kurt Cobain, rest his soul, but it is about Jim Craig, the goalie for the USA Olympic Hockey Team of 1980. The same team that the movie "Miracle" was based on.Pj - Philly, Pa
I was told this was about his brother in the army, but obviously its about Kurt with the "Kudos My Hero!"Liam - Spalding (in Uk), England
How dare Paramore try to sing this!!! It is one of the Foo's best and NO-ONE could/would/should better it. This is the rule of most Foo's songs- Best of you, Everlong, D.O.A- I can't think of a single band who could top those songsSimon - Ipswich, England
paramore sings this song also in Sound of superman (CD) you guys should listen to itAngelica - Avondale, Az
dave and kurt were almost the best of friends when dave first started out. but then kurt started to turn on everyone, dave included, and repeatedly talked of firing grohl. regardeless, dave remembers the good days and talks of them fondly. this song, while maybe not about cobain, is at least partly inspired by him, as grohl has said this exactly on the howard stern show.Matt - Millbrae, Ca
Ok, for all your people who saying Kudos is code for Kurt Cobain, did you realise that kudos is a word?
KUDOS: praise; an expression of approval and commendation; "he always appreciated praise for his work".
think about how praise and appriciation would fit into this song. its all about someones heros. I'm suprised no one else looked up the meaning of the word before.
Paige - Hobart, Australia
In Cobain's suicide note he quotes a Neil Young song that says, "It's better to burn out than fade away."

The line "Don't the best of them bleed it out,
While the rest of them peter out" is eerily similar to that line.

I think the song was at least partially inspired by Cobain regardless of whether Grohl admits it or not.
Douchebag - Pontiac, Mi
I think this is about Dave when he was watching Kurt on a downward spiral in to drugs and finally his deathNicola - Wellington, New Zealand
this song is about kurt donald cobain, you can tell because of the lines "don't the best of them bleed it out, while the rest of them peter out, truth or consequence, say it aloud, use that evidence race it around, its albout jurts death and the caseConrad - Southwest Harbor, Me
This song is definitely about the legendary Kurt Cobain. It would be too much of a coincidence if it were not.Robert - Mountain Lakes, Nj
Luke. You don't think that there are Paul is Dead clues? C'mon, man. The songs are laden with them...the Beatles, IMO, meant to make it like this, so that people could look back and be like 'Oh...man.'

I think this song isn't about Kurt. I think he may be one of the people that was in Grohl's mind...but it's not all about Cobain.
Mckee - Huntsville, Al
Oh come on, of course it's "kudos my hero" Trying to find a reference to Kurt Cobain in this song is as stupid as people trying to find a reference to the Paul is Dead rumour in Beatles songs.Luke - Worthing, England
KuDo's my hero... KUrt DOnald Cobain.Kaitlyn - Hamilton, Ca
I just heard that Dave and Kurt weren't really friends. Kurt just wanted him in the band cuz he was a good drummer. SO I'm guessing it wasn't about KurtEric - Detroit, Mi
someone told me that his dad died just before writing this song, could it be about that instead of kurt?Jack - Reading, England
6 posts above "The intro is almost identical to Nirvana's Scentless Apprentice" No, sorry its not...whats wrong with youMark - Chicago, Il
Grohl can say it's not, but this song IS about Kurt. The line at the end of the song is not 'kudos my hero', but it's 'KuDo's my hero'
KuDo stands for Kurt Donald, the latter being Kurt Cobain's middle name.
Ruben - Utrecht, Netherlands
Its about Kurt, but not directly, he says it in a manor where its not as obvius, he wrote it with Kurt in mind thogh, but not the lyric "There goes my hero, watch him as he leaves" Kurt Cobain died, Dave was one of his good friends, maybe Kurt was a big infulence on him.Gabriel Maclean - Toronto, Canada
The drum intro is overlaped..(HintHint) the hi-hat,and the toms at the same time..Richard - Hillsboro, Tn
it's simply about dave grohl's good friend, Kurt Cobain.Hugh - Berkeley, Ca
Actually I rember hearing that this was about one of the guys on the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey team. Some live interview with Dave Grohl and he mentioned that.E-van - Lansdale, Pa
The intro is almost identical to Nirvana's Scentless Apprentice.Chad - Henderson, Tn
it WAS about Kurt Cobain!Jessica - Del Rio , Tx
it was about kurt, his influence, etcKelly - Houston, Tx
I guess what he was getting at was Pat played with both Nirvana and Backed Dave up with the Foo's for a whileRichard - St. Louis, Mo
Dave Grohl wrote this song not about late Kurt Cobain but with him in mind. He has stated that live and on The Howard Stern Show. Also, Pat Smear also toured with Nirvana from the early 90's and up. The used him to add a heavier second guitar to the music. He never recorded new original music with Nirvana but he was a part of the band on tour. What does Pat have to do with "My Hero" anyway??Ross Cohen - Hatboro, Pa
you guys said it all.Nathan - Atlanta, Ga