U2 “Boy” Album Cover Story And Controversy

Boy” the debut album from U2, was released October 20, 1980.

U2 boy album cover story

The “boy” on the cover was a kid who lived across the street in front of Bono’s house in Dublin named Peter Rowen.

peter rowan boy U2 album cover

Peter later became skate-board champion of Ireland, works in a skate-board shop and has also had various acting parts, notably in the movie The Commitments. The original cover was censored/edited by Warner Records for fear of Pedophilia claims.  Here is the North American cover for “Boy“.

u2 boy north american cover censored USA version

Peter also appeared on the covers of “Three“, “The Best of 1980–1990“, and “Early Demos“.  Bono described the reasoning behind the covers:

“Instead of putting tanks and guns on the cover, we’ve put a child’s face. War can also be a mental thing, an emotional thing between loves. It doesn’t have to be a physical thing.”

u2 war album cover peter rowan u2 three album cover peter rowan

u2 the best of 1980 1990 album cover peter rowan u2 early demos ep peter rowan album cover

In 2008, the original artwork of “Boy” the 1980 UK release cover with Peter was made the standard cover worldwide.

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