I'm the pest who's been following you around the globe now for over 30 years. I asked you that question about Spider-Man the musical while you were talking to bankers in Boston back in 2007. I told you in Boston in 1997 the reason why you were wearing the boxer robe was because you had a bad haircut. You also humored me with my assessment of the start of "Vertigo" at a booksigning with your friend Michka Assayas. I'm the one who is constantly bringing up the Dalton Brothers. And I'm the nagging writer who tries to keep you earnest. For these 30 odd years, you've been nothing but kind, generous and pleasant in every encounter outside arenas and inside convention halls. You are also an example of what true leaders do - they seek the advice from those who are wiser than they are. As a result, my book collection is quite extensive because I've become fond of many of the authors and faith leaders you have received advice from. Whether it's ONE or (RED) or fan-led initiatives like the African Well Fund, that call to action is what makes the U2 fan unique from other bands fan communities -- and that has never changed from the early days of U2. You raised many generations of fans to be activists, and a true leader rolls up their sleeves and gets in the muck with them all. You have done that. Leadership through action. Your words match your actions. That makes you a valuable role model, as much as you may not want to be classified as one.
Here is one of my favorite photos from 1992. Foxboro, August 22. I was taking pictures for a fanzine at the time, and you sorted out that I wasn't professional given the camera I was using. You gave this fan her first rock and roll photo, and it wouldn't be her last. It's an honor and a privilege to be a member of the Zootopian community. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. Here's to your first 6 decades on the planet, and for many more to follow.