Peter Rowen in the eye of U2France

Peter Rowen is the child, now a man of 37 years, who’s featured on the cover albums Boy, War, the best of 1980-1990, and Three. He is also the younger brother of Guggi, a childhood friend of Bono, but above all he’s a photographer and a U2 fan who has answered our questions.

U2 in Montreal, 2011. ©Peter Rowen

Questions : Pauline

Translation : Florian

First of all thanks a lot for accepting the invitation, it’s such a real pleasure for us!

Have you ever considered being the boy on U2’s covers as an issue?

Peter Rowen No… It’s never been an issue. It’s something that I did as a kid that’s just kinda gone on and on… At the time it as an few days off school and a bit of fun! I look at it now I think that it’s pretty cool that my face is on the cover of U2‘s first album!

It’s pretty hard to narrow it down to one adjective when it comes to the look in your eyes on the War album cover. That’s a provocative yet fearful look, a determined look that challenges people to keep looking at you in the face. Do you remember what was your state of mind back then to offer such a particular look?

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Peter Rowen It’s really hard for me to remember much about any of the shoots I did with U2, infact most of the memories of my childhood are all but gone! ( I think bad memory runs in my family!! ) What I was thinking at the time… I really don’t know! As I kid I know that I did love performing in front of people ( I was a bit of a show off really ) so I’d say that posing came very naturally to me!

The Boy album cover got censored in the US because it was suspected to have a pedophile content. What’s your opinion about that?

Peter Rowen Personally I think that there’s way too much paranoia about all that stuff…

You have probably already stumbled upon a picture of you as a kid on a U2 album while wandering in a store. What do you feel under such circumstances?

Peter Rowen I have come across pictures of myself many many times in record stores over the years… Yea, it’s always nice…

What’s your favorite picture among all the ones that were taken of you as a boy for U2?

Peter Rowen I love some of the out takes that they never used… they appeared in a book a few years back. That was the first time I’d ever seen them and yea I like some of them a lot… I can see a strong similarity to my 12 yr old daughter in some of them.

You once said that choosing photography as a career had no link with being a model for U2 once. When did it feel into place that you would become a photographer for a living?

Peter Rowen My interest in photography came about through my interest in drawing as a kid….I realize looking back that I was never much of a reader but I always loved looking at pictures, looking at pictures and drawing ( Art was one of the few things I was at in school! ) Then at the age of about 17 a friend introduced me to photography and I instantly fell in love with it…within a year I was working as a full time assistant photographer.

You are a U2 fan yourself. What do you like in their music, do you have any favorite albums/songs?

Peter Rowen Yeah, I think U2 are great! Favorite album, probably Actung Baby. Favorite song would probably be ‘Stay‘.

You attended several U2 shows, among which Slane Castle in 2001, Barcelona in 2005 as well as Dublin, Paris, Rome and Montreal during the 360° Tour. Which of those U2 concerts left you an indelible memory, and why?

Peter Rowen Yeah probably the Slane show in 2001… It was the first time I got to shoot the band which was a great experience… It was also a time of major change in my life, it was a really difficult time for me.. I shot the first show for The Irish Times who I was working for at the time and the following weekend I went along as guest. Those two shows, for very different reasons are the most memorable for me.

What’s your feeling about the 360° Tour?

Peter Rowen I though the 360 tour was great… saw it about six or seven times and it never failed to impress.. They are a really great live band.

Most U2 fans consider ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ as the most powerful song in a concert. Something makes me think ‘Bad’ is even more intense to you…

Peter Rowen Yeah Bad was written for and about my brother Andy who has struggled with addiction for a lot of his life but thank God he’s doing well these days.

Rumor has it that Bono giving the finger at the beginning of the Paris show on September 18th 2010 was a message to you. Is that true?

Peter Rowen Ha! Possibly… You’d really have to ask Bono for the answer to that one!!

You made an appearance in the Two Hearts Beat As One video clip that was shot in Paris. What is your first feeling whenever you watch this video again?

Peter Rowen I just watched it now! My first feeling was ‘Wow…. that video is 30 year old!!!’ That means I’m getting old!! Yikes!!

What do you remember from that Parisian stay back in 1983?

Peter Rowen I actually remember ( yet again!! ) very little! One of my only memories is of Anton Corbijn playing Larry’s drums and when he was finished he jumped off the stool and cleared the whole drum kit!! ( probably an easy thing to do when you’re 7ft tall! )

I’ve been reading that you like Paris. What’s the most seducing thing in our dear capital according to you?

Peter Rowen Yeah Paris is great… the architecture, the food, the weather, all the cool looking people, the bikes! Lot’s of bikes!!

When was the last time you had contact with Bono or a band member?

Peter Rowen Ah I suppose sometime last year maybe…

What’s your favorite Anton Corbijn’s photo ?

Peter Rowen I like lots of Anton‘s pictures! I have a really nice print that he took of me and the band in about 1983 / 84…It was shot in a little forest on the road I grew up on… it hangs on the wall of my sitting room.. I like that shot!

It’s been 30 years since you posed for U2 albums covers, and now again one of your pictures was chosen to be the cover of another U2 album – U22. How do you feel about that?

Peter Rowen Yeah, that was cool…I was delighted they used one of my shots!

What kind of photo work would you like to do for U2?

Peter Rowen I’d like to shoot the cover for their next studio album… Now that’d be cool!

If we were sending you a heavy load of Mars bars (NB : U2 gave these chocolate bars to Peter so that he posed for their albums), would you be willing to write a concert review of U2’s next show just for us?

Peter Rowen : Sure! Why not!!

What can we hope for you in the future regarding your career?

Peter Rowen Well I’d love to get better and better at what I do… What comes of that I’m not sure…We’ll see!

I can’t seem to find a suitable picture to illustrate this interview. Could you please help me?

Peter Rowen I’ll send you one!

Thank you so much Peter 🙂

Copyright 2012 U2 France /

New U2 book

It will feature extensive snaps of the Dublin band

Along with talk of a new album early in 2013, U2 have confirmed the October publication of the official U2360° photo-book, From The Ground Up.
Featuring the photos of Ralph Larmann and words by Dylan Jones, the hardback documents arguably the most spectacular rock ‘n’ roll tour of all time. subscribers will be able to get their mitts on a special edition featuring more live tracks that didn’t make the U22 CD cut. Pre-ordering starts this weekend.

Copyright 2012 U2 France /

Summer 2012’s summary

You want to keep up with U2 news but you don’t have time to? No problem: U2France offers you a summary of last month’s news regarding U2 as well as a memo pad of its forthcoming events and a review of the progress – or not – of its album and tour plans.

The summary is back after a 2-month break: the lack of news led to a pause with great expectations for its come back. The first lines – written at the beginning of the week – were not full of hope, luckily very good news have appeared in the following days in the ‘notepad’ section…

Bono’s holidays

As it must be one of U2‘s most quiet time, news were mainly about Bono‘s adventures during his holidays. It all started at the Avignon festival, where the singer stopped by before heading to Saint Tropez. It was quite hard to miss Bono in his loud yellow trousers which amused both the press and several fans. It’s been an opportunity for U2 fans to get some material for U2 talk, by analyzing the poorly matched Bono‘s outfit and the usual weight he puts on every summer.

During his holidays Bono also got involved in more serious matters, among which an appearance in the African version of Big Brother in order to talk about the ONE association to the contestants. Talking about real TV: Bono denied the rumor that [he would be a judge… in shows such as X Factor and American Idol. Despite being inundated with such invitations U2‘s singer strongly refuses to commit in such things.

Being always very charitable, Bono also sent his smile to the young Miro Angers, a 12 years old boy who suffers from an unoperable brain tumor. In order to show him support a website has been created so that everyone can send him a picture with a smile on it. As Bono got moved by the story of Miro he also sent him his smile. Unfortunately the tumor won over Miro a few days later…

Rumor: there won’t be an end of the world with U2

On August 22nd the Guatemaltan Culture Minister said an invitation had been sent to U2 in order to perform a concert on December 21st 2012, to celebrate the end of the Maya calendar, which is also – according to certain beliefs – the time the world will come to an end: people will have to celebrate Christmas early if they want to get presents. The participants list would be quite appealing: invitations were also sent to Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Elton John, Neil Young (and that’s not the full list).

Yet there are almost no chances to see the all four members of U2. Since 1990 the band has never agreed to take part in a show that was out of their promotional tours. The’ve been invited thousands of times but never accepted anything. The best case scenario would be an appearance of Bono who is used to playing mini concerts without his band since the 2000s.

A few summer bonuses…

As we got quite bored because of the complete absence of Larry and Adam and that the few public appearances of The Edge along with Bono were not quite satisfying, we did something else. First we wished a happy birthday to The Edge on August 8 then we wondered if the live album U22 was reaching our expectations. We also kept creating new photo albums on our Facebook page – making 2 new albums : When the rock star meets other celebrities, which is dedicated to Bono‘s meetings with other political and musical personalities, and Before…and now in which you’ll be able to see how U2 managed to evolve since 1980.

A review on U2’s projects

Quite a quick update…as there are no updates! So here is the review from the previous summary.

Danger Mouse could produce U2’s next album

Bonotold last month The Irish Voice that U2 keep working in studio with Danger Mouse, who could produce its next album. As always the Irish singer appeared to be very optimistic about their current studio sessions, even telling they could be their best ones since 1979. According to Bono: « U2 have to do something very special to have a reason to exist right now”. He seems to be pretty confident about that as he explains the collaboration with Danger Mouse «hit a vein» and that «there might be life in the old dog yet!» (the dog being U2, not Danger Mouse). The next album doesn’t seem to be ready yet, few are the chances to have it released by the end of 2012.

Next tour and album trilogy

As the next album is not ready yet, no tour is on the horizon before 2012 at least. After their 360° Tour, U2 members said they were willing to go back to indoor venues, and don’t plan to compete with The Claw when it comes to spectacular stages. Maybe will there be an indoor tour in 2014…
As long as the three potential albums to come (a rock album, a club album and an “ambient” album) are concerned, there are no more news, still it seems the project isn’t over. The “ambient” album was probably about songs that could have been on the Holy Grail called “Songs of Ascent” – an album that was supposed to be released shortly after No Line On The Horizon, including titles from the 2004 to 2009 sessions.

Memo pad

October : release of the official 360°’s photo book

‘From The Ground Up’ – a 256-page hardbook which puts together photos taken by Ralph Larmann during U2‘s last tour – is set to be released next october (we’re waiting for the final date). So far the publishing rights haven’t been sold to any French publishing company, so we don’t know if any French version of it will ever come out. However the book will be available in a German edition in October with the title U2 360° – Um die Welt in 760 Tagen – published by Koch.

End of 2012 : next’s gift for paying subscribers

The official website of the band has just announced that the next gift offered to paying subscribers of will be a special edition of the book ‘From The Ground Up’ including live tracks that didn’t make it on U22 — the current gift from Those songs will be revealed in October. In order to get that special-edition book you’ll then have a choice: buying it as soon as it is out in store or waiting to get it through with extra live tracks. It looks like the only version you can get from the official website is the English one, there’s no mention of any other language.

Coming next: another hardbook about U2 on its way

The professional music photographer Peter Neill has decided to please U2 fans with the preparation of a hardbook including his pictures of the band taken during the 2009 Sheffield and 2010 Paris shows. His plan is to offer 2 versions of his book: a standard version and a limited-edition version in which fans will be offered the chance to choose the first-page picture. If you know a good and cheap publishing/editing company offering great quality at reasonable prices you can tell him by mail here: You can also follow his project updates on his Facebook page MusicShots.

Copyright 2012 U2 France /

U22: the live album of the 360° Tour

After a seven-month wait – and more – the U22 album finally reached the mailboxes of paying subscribers to This live album of the 360° Tour includes 24 songs on 22 tracks which were chosen by fans. Is the album up to what was expected in order to live again the 360° tour?… Verdict

Author: Pauline
Translated by Florian

An (almost) representative tracklist of the tour

The U22 tracklisting is pretty sweet, including a version of Until The End Of The World dedicated to Frank Sinatra, Streets, or even Elevation – which stands up to its legend of being a perfect song for any rock concert. The most attractive thing about this tracklisting is that it preserves the highlights of the 360° tour: the come-back of songs that were gone missing such as (Zooropa, The Unforgettable Fire and Ultraviolet), songs that were hardly played but greatly enjoyed (One Tree Hill, Bad, Out Of Control and All I Want Is You/Love Rescue Me) and encore tracks.

Yet the tracklisting is not a good image of the differences between the several legs of the 360° tour. The 2011 legs are perfectly depicted – thanks to the 4 Achtung Baby tracks at the beginning of the show, but both 2009 and 2010 legs are almost forgotten. Unreleased titles played live in 2010 – which gave their uniqueness to the setlists – have totally gone missing; for a good reason though, as they were not among the tracks fans could elect except from Return of The Stingray Guitar. As far as 2009 shows are concerned, the tracklisting desperately lacks the songs from No Line On The Horizon that were played during the first legs. Unknown Caller was only just saved by – which offered it as a bonus – but other songs like No Line On the Horizon, Breathe, Crazy Tonight and Get On Your Boots didn’t get that chance.

The last unfortunate oversight – which leads the album not to be an exact rendition of the tour – is the absence of the Vertigo / Crazy Tonight / Sunday Bloody Sunday trio. When it comes to a double live album which aim is to make fans relive the 360° tour, it is hard to understand why those memorable songs are missing. Especially regarding Vertigo, even more powerful than during the Vertigo Tour.

U2 can’t be blamed for that: when you make a three-year tour with an evolutive setlist which changes from a year to another it gets pretty hard to give a perfectly reprsentative tracklisting of what the tour was using only 22 songs when 55 were played (covers excepted). In general the tracklisting remains faithful to what most setlists were.

Probably the best CD ever offered

The last two albums offered did not really get a warm welcome from fans because of an excess of remixes (on Artificial Horizon) and a lack of unreleased tracks (regarding Duals), so there were great expectations about U22.

Despite a tracklisting that was uneven on the whole tour, U22 is by far an excellent live album (even I, who is never satisfied and wrote this paper, got fulfilled since the first listen). The groundbreaking start with Real Thing and The Fly, the dream duo The Unforgettable Fire / Zooropa, the « Sinatra » version of Until The End of The World, the beautiful Bad, Ultraviolet and One Tree Hill, and the perfect ending with Moment of Surrender / Out of Control, are just so many good reasons to get this live album.

The sound quality if clearly better than what was proposed on the prior live recordings offered by (Go Home and U2.Communication). It is thus easier to understand the long time it took to mix the album, which is the reason the album release got delayed. As far as the packaging is concerned, has also reached a higher level than usual. So far we were used to getting a poor paper sleeve in addition to the CD; this time actively participated by including a 22-page booklet filled with pictures – and quite good ones – of the tour. Even the cover – made from a Peter Rowen photo which was taken in Paris in 2010 – is much nicer than the austerity of the previous ones.

So, is it a success? Looks like it is. Among the nine CDs has ever offered, U22 is probably one of the best thanks to the large amount of tracks it contains and to its sound quality. Despite the forgetting of some tracks and an unpleasant wrong note on the City Of Blinding Lights chorus, all the other tracks reach a high standard, so does the album. With such an album fans will surely be able to experience again the 360° tour and tremble with pleasure…


Last but not the least, the complete tracklist… again



Recorded at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, 15th May 2011

Recorded at Spartan Stadium, East Lancing 26 June 2011br>

Recorded at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town 18 February, 2011

Recorded at Stadion Letzigrund, Zurich, 11 September 2010

Recorded at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, 14 May 2011

Recorded at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, 13 February 2011

Recorded at Soldier Field, Chicago, 5 July 2011

Recorded at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, 26 November 2010

Recorded at Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, 10 August 2009

Recorded at Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, 3 August 2009

11. BAD
Recorded at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, 8 October 2010


Recorded at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, 14 December 2010

Recorded at Ullevi Stadion, Gothenburg, 31 July 2009

Recorded at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, 22 June 2011

Recorded at Parc Des Sports Charles-Ehrmann, Nice, 15 July 2009

Recorded at Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, 9 August 2009

17. ONE
Recorded at Hampden Park, Glasgow, 18 August 2009

Recorded at Stadion Slaski, Chorzow, 6 August 2009

Recorded at Estadio De Coimbra, Coimbra, 3 October 2010

Recorded at Wembley Stadium, London, 14 August 2009

Recorded at Subiaco Oval, Perth, 18 December 2010

Recorded at Hippodrome De Montreal, Montreal, 9 July 2011

Copyright 2012 U2 France /

If you’re among those who still haven’t received their copy: don’t lose hope! A shipping was made on Augst 13th.

U2 Release Exclusive Fan Club Double-Disc Live Album ‘U22’ – News

For any fan of U2, the new double-disc live album U22, from the record-breaking U2360° tour, is something really special. This exclusive U2 Fan Club release features 22 live tracks that were voted on by fans, all recorded during the two year, 110 show tour. What’s really unusual with this release is that the tracks selected are not just the classic U2 hits you might expect but fan favorites like ‘Bad’, ‘Ultra Violet’, ‘Moment of Surrender’ and ‘Zooropa.’

Another innovation with the release of U22 is the beautiful packaging. The 2-disc set comes in an LP-sized book of breathtaking photos from the tour, which as you probably know featured a unique looking ‘Claw’ stage set-up for 360° viewing. The book also comes with liner notes talking through the tracks written by bassist Adam Clayton.

An exclusive limited-edition release for subscribers and with a track list chosen by the fans, U22 really captures the sense of community within the U2 Fan Club. A subscription will also get you access to 11 downloads from the 22 tracks on the discs, and a 12th bonus download ‘Unknown Caller’ – as well as a range of other special online content and benefits.

Fans interested in learning more about taking out a subscription and getting a copy of this awesome package can head to