Budding drummers would do well to revisit some of the Foo Fighters’ early hits. Drums were the beating heart of Foo’s brand of alternative rock anthem, and it feels like their music will never be the same since the passing of Taylor Hawkins. Those of you looking to learn a thing or two Dave Grohl and the drum work of Taylor Hawkins will be delighted to hear that we have found a drum-only version of the 1997 Foo Fighters hit “My Hero” for your listening pleasure.
Written by Grohl for the Foo Fighters color and shape album, ‘My Hero’ is, as its name suggests, about the unspoken heroes of the world. Told from a child’s perspective, it reflects Dave Grohl’s respect for ordinary people doing amazing things. Half-heartedly, many listeners assumed the song was written about Former Grohl’s Nirvana band member Kurt Cobain, whose death is believed to be a direct result of the band’s astonishing rise to fame, although Grohl has suggested otherwise. After performing the song on Howard Stern, the interviewer suggested the track was “loosely based on Kurt Cobain”. Grinning slightly, Grohl replied, “Uh, it’s a little more like ordinary heroes,” adding that he’s always admired “ordinary people, more than me until… [celebrities].”
In 2008, presidential candidate John McCain used “My Hero” in his campaign. The Foo Fighters were unhappy and denounced his use of the track. “The saddest thing about it is that ‘My Hero’ was written as a celebration of the ordinary man and his extraordinary potential,” the band said in a statement. “Having it appropriated without our knowledge and using it in a way that perverts the original feeling of the lyrics only tarnishes the song.”
Later, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Grohl performed “My Hero” from his Hawaii studio as part of the Lounge concert for America, a benefit concert broadcast on Fox to raise funds and boost morale during the lockdown. It was definitely the right choice. “My Hero” is by far one of Foo Fighter’s most euphoric offerings, not least because of its thundering drums, which set the whole track in motion. Although Hawkins appears in the video, it was Grohl who recorded the drums in the studio, recording one track using kick, hi-hat, snare and crash, then another using kick, snare, rack and floor toms. As you can hear, the dual track drums are incredibly rich and complex. As a result, Hawkins was forced to play a simplified beat during live performances.
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