“We worked on the song for about two months without knowing if Kirk Smalley would even want the song,” Freiberg wrote in an email.
Now the song – also called “Stand for the Silent” – is being given out at SFTS functions across the country.
Freiberg, of Los Osos, knows about the harmful effects of bullying. One of his sons, who has autism, was a frequent target of bullying, both at school and on the Internet.
“Other disabilities show us a person is disabled, a person in a wheelchair, for example,” said Freiberg (pictured here from a previous Tribune story). A child with autism, he added, ”looks like everybody else – they dress like their peers and their disability is not necessarily visible. Unfortunately, the school yard sorts out the weak links.”
Freiberg’s fondness for music is evident, having founded Vinyl Record Day. His business, Rock Art Picture Show, sells frames for vinyl records. But he needed help putting music to his lyrics. Luckily, he had a nephew-in-law, Jeff Kolb, who could help.
“Turned out he was a rocking musician with a recording studio,” Freiberg said.
With Freiberg’s lyrics, Kolb created a heavy metal song that declares, “Let’s take a stand and stand for the silent.”
While 1,000 CDs of the song were pressed to hand out at schools and other events, it’s also available on iTunes for 99 cents. Of that, the Stand for the Silent Organization gets 50 cents, while Freiberg and Kolb split the rest. Freiberg plans to use any money he gets for another project he created. His Cactus and Cotton is a cartoon band that sings songs of social value geared for kids in grades K-2.
“The idea of it is that if little kids sing along and listen to those kind of songs, maybe when they get a little bit older, they’ll remember the songs that they sang and it might influence their behavior,” Freiberg said.
The Smalleys, of Oklahoma, are featured in the movie “Bully,” currently in theaters.
Tribune file photo: Jayson Mellom
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