On Jan. 19, 1998, Foo Fighters released “My Hero” as a single from their second LP, The Colour and the Shape. It was the third of four singles from the album (with “Monkey Wrench” and “Everlong” preceding it, and “Walking After You” following it).
Foo Fighters was originally a solo project for Dave Grohl after his time as drummer for Nirvana ended with Kurt Cobain’s death. Foo Fighters comes from the name given by World War II pilots and radar operators for an unidentified flying object (UFO), unexplainable light glow, and other phenomena momentarily detected in the sky.
Whereas the first album, Foo Fighters, was basically a collection of Grohl demos, The Colour and the Shape was a band effort with Grohl (on guitar) leading the group that had toured in support of the first LP—bassist Nate Mendall, rhythm guitarist Pat Smear and drummer William Goldsmith (although Goldsmith may not actually be heard on the album … Grohl is said to have re-recorded all of Goldsmith’s tracks for the LP).
“My Hero” is not only a great song, it’s a great music video. Grohl said the lyrics are about the everyday people, leading ordinary lives, who are the unsung heroes of our times. The video depicts a man acting as a rescuer at an apartment fire. The intricate timing and choreography for this production are as easily overlooked as our day-to-day heroes. The “My Hero” video is visually interesting, at times heartfelt, and at times just hilarious.
I had the opportunity to see the Foo Fighters in the autumn of 2010. “My Hero” was performed as a sing-along. The Phoenix audience roared the lyrics in a unison that was beautiful (Grohl even commented that it was the loudest he had heard so far on the tour).