Mysterious U2 Album Cover Boy, Now 37, Gives Interview

4:05 PM PST 10/14/2011 by Michael O'Connell

31 years after he appeared on the Irish band's debut album, Rowen is now a photographer himself.

Appearing on the cover of U2 albums Boy and War before he was even 10, Peter Rowen's boyhood face is an image often associated with the band.

But his brief modeling career ended back in 1983. Now 37, Rowen works as a photographer in Dublin and continues to find himself tied to U2.

"Bono lived across the road and was friends with my brother," Rowen tells The Difference of how his covers came to be. "I don't know why they thought of me."

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Rowen has few memories of having his picture taken -- he didn't like the soup that was served and Bono almost crashed the car on the way back from the shoot -- but he does still keep in touch with band members Bono and The Edge.

He recently attended a U2 show in Montreal, and in 2010 he photographed the European leg of the band's 360° tour.

"It is funny that I'm a photographer now," Rowen admits.

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It also afforded him a rather spooky interaction. While on assignment, a stranger once struck up a conversation with him. "A guy started talking to me about my camera and said he used to be a photographer and his most famous picture was 'War,'" he says. "I said, 'that was me!' He's a judge now."

U2 has long since moved on to other subjects for their album art. And a few years ago, they gave Rowen a photo they took for one of their covers, with a message on the back from Bono that read: "Stay a child. I am enjoying it."

On the outside, at least, Rowen is still an adult. And few can ever tell that he was once the boy from the album covers. "When people find out, sometimes they say my eyes are still the same," he says.

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