Who is Foo Fighters' My Hero about?

20 May 2024, 18:00

Dave Grohl in London, 1997, around the time of the release of The Colour & The Shape
Dave Grohl in London, 1997, around the time of the release of The Colour & The Shape. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

Was the classic Foo Fighters song written about Kurt Cobain... or someone else entirely?

Foo Fighters' 1997 song My Hero has become an anthem for fans across the globe and is still one of the band's biggest hits to date.

At the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert at London's Wembley Stadium in September 2022, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters performed the song with Taylor's son Oliver Shane Hawkins in his late father's drum seat.

Foo Fighters - My Hero at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert

The third track to be released from the band's second album The Colour and the Shape has gone on to represent heroes from across the world, but who was Dave Grohl actually referring to when he wrote the song?

Was it about Kurt Cobain, about your everyday man or about someone else in particular?

Let's find out...

VIDEO: Does this guy's vocal on Foo Fighters' My Hero match Dave Grohl's?

Foo Fighters - My Hero (Official Music Video)

Was Foo Fighters' My Hero about Kurt Cobain?

Some people assume that Dave Grohl is referring to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who sadly lost his life to suicide in 1994. Grohl has previously said that it was somewhat influenced by grunge icon, saying: "There's definitely an element of Kurt in that song".

Nirvana's Kurt Cobain in 1990
Some people think Foo Fighters' My Hero is about the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

However, by 1999, Grohl had definitely distanced himself from the idea. When Grohl performed the track on The Howard Stern Show that the song was "loosely based on Kurt Cobain," the rocker scrunched up his face and replied: "Errr, it's kinda more about heroes that are ordinary."

When the shock jock asked if it's because heroes disappoint you, he clarified: "Not at all. I look up to regular people, more than I up to... [celebrities].

Watch their conversation and decide for yourself in the clip below:

Dave Grohl “My Hero” on the Howard Stern Show in 1999

Who is Foo Fighters' My Hero about?

Dave Grohl has never really official attributed My Hero to one person, instead suggesting it was more about the "common man". In 2008, the band released a statement when Republican candidate John McCain used the track without their permission.

They wrote: "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."

READ MORE: Which Foo Fighters song is about Kurt Cobain?

Dave Grohl performing with Foo Fighters at Manchester's Apollo, 25th May 1997
Dave Grohl performing with Foo Fighters at Manchester's Apollo, 25th May 1997. Picture: Jon Super/Redferns/Getty Images

Last year, the meaning of My Hero was solidified further when it was used to celebrate healthcare workers and essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In March 2020, Grohl performed a moving rendition of the track live from Hawaii for the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, which was organised by Elton John.

Ahead of his performance the rocker said: "Hey this is Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. I hope everyone is staying healthy. If you love someone let them know. If you're thankful for someone, tell them."

He added: "I'd like to dedicate this song to everyone out there on the frontlines that are doing their best to get us through all of this..."

WATCH: Dave Grohl sings Foo Fighters' My Hero with daughter Violet at Leeds Festival 2019

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