David Bowie, Longtime Friend of Falun Gong

3 min read

While most knew him for his music and performance art, Friends of Falun Gong

will remember David Bowie’s unfailing support of Falun Gong practitioners’ freedom

of belief.

In that respect, we share below a February 12, 2004 article originally published on

Minghui.org’s English-language predecessor, ClearWisdom.net.


David Bowie, a famous British rock’n’roll star, is giving a concert tour around the world.

His drummer, Sterling Campbell, who has worked with other famous bands, has been

a Falun Gong practitioner for six years.

Sterling and about sixty other western Falun Gong practitioners gathered at

Tiananmen Square and unfolded a banner in 2001.

Every time David Bowie held a concert, Sterling would arrange a booth for Friends of

Falun Gong at the entrance to the concert.

He would have interviews with media to tell of his experience of being arrested in

China for supporting Falun Gong. David Bowie, a supporter of Amnesty International

himself, has been very supportive of Sterling’s efforts.


Local Falun Gong practitioners took this opportunity to tell music fans about the

persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and the detention of Charles Li.

Many people took flyers and signed their names to support the rescue of Charles Li.

Some people joined Friends of Falun Gong. Some stopped by to ask more details.

They were shocked by the situation in China and Charles’ experience.

Many music fans were curious about the Chinese words “Truthfulness, Compassion,

Forbearance”written on Sterling’s drum. They were eager to find out the story

behind these words.

The story of Sterling Campbell’s drum


Six years ago, American professional drummer Sterling Campbell was at the bottom

of his life. After playing concerts, he indulged himself in the night life of New

York and could not extricate himself from tobacco and alcohol and other habits.


One day, he happened to pass a park in New York where he saw a group of people

practicing a very gentle exercise. He was fascinated and couldn’t help joining them.

A Falun Gong practitioner gave him a Falun Gong book to read.


Sterling said he was deeply touched by “Zhuan Falun,” the guiding book of Falun

Gong by the founder Mr. Li Hongzhi. He said he couldn’t say enough about how

“Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” in the book had helped him give up

smoking and drinking.

Falun Gong had not only given him excellent health, but also brought him a big

spiritual change. He said he became a happier person.

He identified with “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance” so much that he

wrote these three words in Chinese on his drum to show his concert audience.



Arizona, USA: Falun Gong Practitioners Exposed Persecution at Concert (Photos)


Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia): Brisbane believers at Bowie



Drummer Sterling Campbell: My Time With David Bowie


UK: A Famous Drummer participates in a Protest Opposite the Chinese Consulate


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