Friday 9 December 2016

Little boy from album covers now turning the cameras on U2

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Reporter

Published 29/03/2010 | 05:00

Photographer Peter Rowen who featured on the cover for U2 albums 'Boy', 'War' as a child, is set to turn the camera on the band when he tours with them this summer. Picture: Peter Rowen
Photographer Peter Rowen who featured on the cover for U2 albums 'Boy', 'War' as a child, is set to turn the camera on the band when he tours with them this summer. Picture: Peter Rowen

THIRTY years ago they photographed him for the cover of their debut album.

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But this summer it will be U2 in the frame when the boy who starred on some of their best-known record sleeves turns the camera on them at a series of gigs around Europe.

Peter Rowen is known to millions of U2 fans around the globe as the boy on the cover of albums 'Boy', 'War' and their 1998 singles collection.

But in recent years the 35-year-old has been finding fame in his own right as an award-winning photographer.

Recently featured in 'The New York Times', his studies of people including artist Louis le Brocquy and his own daughter Katie have won him a string of awards.

This summer he will shoot U2 as their 360 Tour, featuring a massive four-legged claw, visits European capitals.

Rowen's involvement with U2 goes back to the band's birth in Dublin during the late 1970s, when his elder brother Guggi, now a bestselling artist, was a member of punk band The Virgin Prunes and friend of Bono.

"Bono was a neighbour of ours growing up. I don't know why U2 picked me exactly to be on a U2 sleeve? I guess maybe I was a cute-looking kid," he said.

Photographed for U2's first EP in 1979, a year later Rowen was posing for the cover of U2's first album, 'Boy' and then again for their third album 'War' in 1983.

He claims neither release encroached on his life.

"You have to remember that U2 were a very small band back then. I was six at the time and hanging around with other kids. We wouldn't have been into rock music so U2 meant nothing to me or my friends," he said.

But would he ever be on another U2 sleeve? "Only this week I got an email from the world's biggest U2 tribute band asking would I pose for their album cover? I had to tell them I was busy taking my own photographs," he said.

Irish Independent

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