Meet U2’s ‘War’ child

U2 WAR ALBUM for Sunday Features WAR U2 Peter Rowan as boy

To millions of U2 fans, Peter Rowen is the child whose mournful face stares out from the covers of “Boy” and “War.” Now, 30 years since he modeled for the iconic images, he still attracts attention.

Peter grew up in Dublin, where his older brother Guggi befriended Bono, when he was still known as Paul Hewson.

“Bono [came] over to our house quite a bit,” Rowen says. “My eldest brother, Clive, says Bono used to eat us out of jam sandwiches! I remember Bono and [his wife] Ali coming, much later, for Sunday dinner.”

U2 first had Rowen photographed in 1979 for the EP “Three.” He later appeared on the European version of “Boy” and the breakthrough third album, 1983’s “War.”

The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll, featuring U2, Elvis, The Beatles, and more

“The History of Rock ‘N’ Roll” covers the landmark moments in musical history. From rhythm and blues to Elvis and the Beatles, Woodstock, punk, hip hop, and much more, this 10-episode rockumentary is essential viewing for anyone who cares about music.

U2 should be included in both the 8pm & 11pm portion of the program on March 2nd 2010 on Fuse. Use the channel finder to location your station.

The day we clicked – rock photography

Pioneers of rock photography talk through their favourite shots
Anton Corbijn: U2, 1986

Photograph: Anton Corbijn

I’d been working with U2 for four years when we did this picture. The working titles for their new album were “the two Americas” and “desert songs”, so I went looking for deserts in California. The shots which include the actual Joshua Tree were shot in Death Valley, the cover shot was at Zabriskie Point. The tree is named after the biblical Joshua. I suggested it to Bono, and he came back the next morning with a bible in his hand saying we’d go for it.

I came to England from Holland in the late 70s and started working for the NME. The interesting thing is that the two groups I’m most associated with – Depeche Mode and U2 – are both bands I was not a fan of at first. I turned Depeche Mode down for five years because I thought they were too poppy. With U2, they were playing on a boat moored on the Mississippi and I thought, “OK, I’ll listen to a couple of songs just to prove I was there then I’ll leave.” I didn’t realise the boat would set off, so I had to stay for the gig. I liked the guys and ended up travelling with them and did more pictures. It was the beginning of a friendship.

When the Joshua Tree album came out and became so big I felt very removed from it. I looked at the billboards and it didn’t feel like the little picture I printed in my dark room. It became this other thing.

Photographing U2 has become more difficult as they have become more well known. The Joshua Tree was taken over a period of three days travelling through the desert. It’s unthinkable for U2 to do that now. For their last album I had two hours in bad weather.

Even after 28 years I always try to take a different picture of U2. If I’m stuck, I’ll go to Holland, smoke a joint and come back with new ideas.

Read the full article at Guardian News >>

Producer Steve Lillywhite speaks about his campaign to be ‘Idol’ judge

U2 Producer Steve Lillywhite Wants to Be Your Next American Idol Judge

Last week, noted producer Steve Lillywhite made an impassioned video plea to be considered a potential replacement for “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, a job he’s certainly qualified for, having worked on some 30 game-changing albums in just as many years, from his early New Wave days with Siouxsie and the Banshees and Talking Heads to Peter Gabriel and U2′s formative years to current chart-toppers like 30 Seconds to Mars.

The man also has a British accent (Lillywhite grew up outside of London and is currently based in New York), a strong opinion and loads of charisma, so why did some think the video campaign was a joke?

Read more >

U2’s ‘The Nude Interview’ with Dave Fanning June 25th 1987 (audio)

The boy’s spin their favorite record’s alongside Dave Fanning and take phone call’s on RTE radio. As the interview progresses, the band members strip down to their jockey’s and laugh it up all caught on the air.

Two songs of interest was played:

Lost Highway (Hank Willams) starts at about 9 minutes into the clip and Puppy Love (Donny Osmond) located at the 1:07:40 mark.

Read accounts of the interview from Pimm Jal de la Parra book U2 Live: A Concert Documentary


Other link resource: U2Interview

GQ’s August 2009 issue features an interview with the Edge

GQ’s August 2009 issue features an interview with the Edge, Jack White, and Jimmy Page, who sat down with Will Welch to discuss the new electric guitar documentary, It Might Get Loud. Edge discusses the inspiration behind the un-commercial nature of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and the experience of playing it live for the first time.

“When you’re writing a song, it can’t just be a nice idea; it’s got to be something that’s important to you at a gut level. Even when ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ was in its rough, early stage, it was cathartic for me. As a band, we decided not to release it as the first single on War, not because we didn’t think it was a great tune but because it would’ve been embarrassing for it to have become a commercial object to be exploited. The first time we played it live, we were in Northern Ireland, and without telling the rest of us, Bono goes, “’We’ve got a song about what’s going on up here. If you don’t like it, we’ll never play it again. Ever.’”

“‘Oh shit. Oh shit.’ Then Bono said, ‘This song is called ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday,’’ and the place went nuts. Two or three people headed to the exits, because from the title alone, you might think it’s a nationalist anthem. But of course, it’s just the opposite: It’s a pacifist anthem. My hands were shaking as I played the guitar.”

“I think the three of us all reverted to type. Jack is the showman—the brassy frontman and the snake-oil trader. Jimmy is the sartorially elegant guitar god. And I’m the sideman. That’s my gig. The sideman has to make it all happen and make everyone else look good.”

Find the complete interview here.

Taking care of business – the U2 interview

By Brian Hiatt

Sunday April 05 2009

It should have been enough, even for Bono. Lincoln behind him, Obama to his right, a crowd of 400,000 stretched to the Washington Monument. A chance to quote the “I have a dream” speech from the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr delivered it. “Not a bad gig,” U2’s singer says with a grin, shaking his head afterwards in the band’s cramped backstage trailer. Bono’s eyes are hidden under orange shades; his close-cropped hair has a section shaved to the scalp on each side, like racing stripes for his brain. “That crowd! I suppose the fact that I thought I could bond with every single one of them is early — or later — signs of megalomania.” But Bono can’t help thinking about his original plan: King on the video screens, his 1963 speech ringing out again on the National Mall — and when the crowd heard “Thank God almighty, we are free at last,” U2 would have slammed into Pride (In the Name of Love). Instead, the song got a muted intro from Samuel L Jackson.

“They pulled the speech last night,” sighs Bono, still wearing a black scarf from his stage outfit, with a Rilke poem about God and nature printed on it. “We were out with [David] Axelrod and Rahm [Emanuel] and the Obama team, and they said it was a modesty thing. They thought it was presumptuous. Do you get that? I mean, it’s great that they’re being cautious — but it would have been great for the King family to see that.”

The Edge, uncharacteristically giddy after the performance’s adrenaline blast, chimes in. “I can see how they were thinking,” he says. “I’m not sure I agree. Obama is a modest guy, and he’s really careful about being presumptuous and self-lionising.” The guitarist pauses and smiles, eyes gleaming beneath his black ski cap. “We don’t suffer from these problems. We just go for it.”

A few weeks earlier, U2 finished their 11th studio album, No Line on the Horizon, which fuses the spiritual uplift of their Eighties work with the future-shock sonics of their Nineties albums. The result is some of the most moving, adventurous music of their career, from the churning polyrhythms of the title track to the ghostly minimalism of the closer, Cedars of Lebanon. And despite living in a time in which, as Bono puts it, “only teenage girls and very, very honest people” pay for music, they spared neither time nor expense in pursuit of their vision.

“It is now easier and more affordable to record a song than at any other time in the history of recorded music,” says bassist Adam Clayton. “Unless you’re U2.” It was a superstar album-as-art project, with no deadlines on the horizon: during two years of scattered sessions, they recorded in France, London, New York, Dublin and Fez, Morocco. Long-time producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno were along for the ride, with the pair emerging as full songwriting partners for the first time — it was Lanois, for instance, who came up with the chorus melody for a key track, Moment of Surrender.

On their first two albums this decade, U2 reclaimed their core sound and their mass audience — but, along the way, they started to feel like they were playing it safe. So despite the successes of the past eight years, the band went into these sessions feeling like everything was on the line. “We were fighting for our relevance,” says The Edge. “We felt like we can’t really afford not to be innovative.”

Adds Bono: “There is the defying-gravity aspect of it. There’s this fear that this might be the one where the nose of the plane starts to dip down. It’s very hard when you see talents and prolific imaginations that are so great, and wonder, ‘Where’d it go?’ And then you think, ‘That can happen to us! In fact, it’s likely to. And what might stop it?”’

Bono rounds a corner onto a narrow Dublin street, boots crunching on old cobblestone, sleek, black double-breasted overcoat flapping in the January breeze. The street’s only occupants, a flock of fat pigeons, wobble into the air to get out of his way. Bono stretches an arm to try to touch one of them as it flutters overhead. “One beak to another,” he says with a laugh. His enthusiasm and charisma are such that it’s hard not to laugh with him, even if you don’t quite get the joke. “The Dublin walk, by the way, is called ‘the pigeon’,” Bono says. “You probably haven’t seen it yet.” He demonstrates, breaking into a thuggish pimp strut, and laughs again.

He’s running late for his next appointment, which is not unusual in what must be one of the most overstuffed lives on the planet: “part-time” rock stardom; global advocacy for Africa’s poor that has won him nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize; various multinational business and charitable ventures; an op-ed column for The New York Times; and four kids with Ali Hewson, his wife of 26 years. “I find it very hard to leave home,” he says, “because my house is full of laughter and songs and kids.”

Earlier, he had also been late for lunch. “My wife is out of town with her clothing line, and I had to get the kids off to school,” he apologised. Of his multi-tasking, he says: “I wanna squeeze every drop out of the day. But it’s also the tyranny of good ideas, y’know, because if you spot one, or if you have one, then you think you have to follow through on it. And that might be a psychosis — I may have to get that fixed.”

Psychotic or not, he’s in an ebullient mood. This is his town; these are his streets. And with the Obama inauguration looming, he’s hopeful about the future — though he is as worried as anyone about the global financial crisis, which is hitting Ireland hard. “Very serious matter,” he says. “I get really nervous when some of the smartest people I know — some of the smartest people in the world — don’t know what’s about to happen. I believe, in the end, creativity thrives in difficult conditions. I think we’ll see some amazing things come out of this, though my heart goes out to people losing their jobs. And in my work as an activist, we were finding out how hard it is to get people to keep their promises to the world’s poor in good times. You can imagine how difficult it’s going to be now.”

Interviewing Bono is like taking an Alaskan husky for a walk — you can only suggest a general direction, and then hold on for dear life. Over an 80-minute lunch at Eden, one of his favourite Dublin restaurants, he repeatedly goes off on wild, entertaining tangents, which tend to include names such as Bill Clinton, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, genomic researcher Craig Venter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu — Bono calls him “the Arch”. He tosses out one killer soundbite after another, blue eyes moving like tropical fish behind today’s pinkish-purple shades. “I was never much good at throwing a television out a window of a hotel,” he says, musing on his failings as a rock star. “Now, I look at a television, and I want to buy the company.”

He eats his chicken breast in big bites, avoiding the potatoes, talking with his mouth full — and when the chicken is gone, he dips a finger into the sauce and licks it off, more than once. “We began this decade well — I think we’ll end it better,” he says, sitting on a white chair at a white table in a restaurant that’s otherwise empty — apparently because management has cleared it out for him. “Wouldn’t it be great if, after all these years, U2 has their heyday? That could be true of a painter or a filmmaker at this stage.” Continue reading

Rob Partridge: an unsung hero of music

Sometimes the music business feels as if it is all about artists on one side and suits on the other, locked in an antagonistic relationship of mutual dependency. Yet in the middle of it all are the unsung heroes, the real lubricators of the machinery, men and women who are primarily driven not by glory or money, but by their love of music.


Rob Partridge, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of sixty, after a battle with cancer, was one of those heroes. Involved in press and management, he was a good humoured adviser to many bands (including some of my own) really taking time to explain the workings of this business.

As head of press at Island back in the seventies, he was the earliest music business champion of U2, and helped persuade Head of A&R Nick Stewart that he should sign them when no one else in Britain thought them worth taking a chance on. His support was all about fandom, enthusiasm, instinct and generosity. As Bono has commented, “he was a nurturer… a person who would educate you about the kind of obstacles you were going to meet and how to get over them… a rare human being.” Continue reading

Daniel Lanois on RTE Radio tonight

Hey there, just to give you the heads up re Daniel Lanois – he’ll be on RTE Radio One in Ireland tonight. There will be mention made of the new U2 album…and who knows perhaps a hint in his selection of Classic Album? All will be revealed tonight between 7 and 8pm on RTE Radio One and on line at

– eoin

Thanks eoin for the heads up!

Tune in here

Paddy’s interview with Adam Clayton of U2

On, Adam Clayton of U2 had a chance to chat with fellow Irishman, Paddy Casey to find out what life was like during the recording of ‘Addicted to Company’.

how did the Dublin recording go with Producer Pat Donne?
Paddy: Well me and Pat have been working together for years, and we have this system where I work all night, and leave a big mess of a recording. Then he would go in to the studio, clean it up and make it sound half way like a song.. Continue reading