History
of the
Knitting Factory

Michael Dorf, founder of the Knitting Factory, was the Chairman and CEO from 1987-2002.

He no longer has any operational or ownership ties to the organization.

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Make a Move...

For some reason, this dubious success inspired me and Bob to take the recording industry more seriously. So after borrowing money from my grandparents (an interest-free loan that we still owe most of), investing some of my personal savings, and cosigning a small bank loan with Bob’s father (we just finished paying this off), I quit law school and moved to New York City in the summer of 1986; while Bob and the band continued to be headquartered in Wisconsin. Even though Swamp Thing had a loyal

following in Madison (can you imagine 100 Swampheads making rabbit ears with their hands and dancing to the hit “Rabbit Revolution”?), the band started spending more time with me on the East Coast, playing to growing audiences in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. My new apartment on East 10th Street was a warehouse for the band’s equipment and the growing numbers of Flaming Pie records. Swamp Thing recorded its second album in a Connecticut studio. It was an expensive piece of vinyl tentatively titled Mr. Blutdstein’s Knitting Factory, a name made up by Jonathan Zarov inspired by the sweater factory in Wisconsin where Bob had worked a few years back. We ended up calling it A Cow Comes True, but a cash cow it wasn’t. We spent $15,000 on the record and have collected $4,000 in revenues to date. Around this time, Flaming Pie signed two other Madison bands, Honor Among Thieves and Phil Gnarly and the Tough Guys, as well as native New Yorker Joey Arias, who sang Billie Holiday covers. The record company was collecting experience, not cash.

Above: The only photo available showing the interior of the club before any renovations were done to the old Avon office. Note the new wall under construction. It was taken down with the one behind it two years later. Photo taken from stage: Louis (left), Michael (right), others unknown. 1986 Photo by Gerhard Joren