"My Hero" is the third single from the Foo Fighters' second album The Colour and the Shape. It was released as a single in 1998.
Although the song was first released on the 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. During Foo Fighters' appearance on VH1 Storytellers in 2009, Dave 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. There are some that speculate that the song could have been written about the O.J. Simpson murder case.
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).
The song was featured in the movie Varsity Blues during the climatic 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 Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson jump to their death.
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.
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."
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.
However, the band played a stripped down, acoustic version of the song live, 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. File Hashes
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