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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Ok, Let's try this Again

Interestingly, we filled the concert hall with West Berliners who exchanged their money for East German currency and saw the concert for quite a low price. A very cool situation, historically speaking-but once again, no money for us. The tour degenerated toward the end, band leaders and the bus company fighting for any of our Western currency. I got every possible cash advance from my credit cards in Barcelona to pay the bills. Going from bank to bank, I accumulated enough Spanish pesetas to convert to dollars to pay off everyone except some musicians who were willing to wait till we got back to New York.

It took many months of good tea and beer sales at the Knitting Factory to cover this loss, but the European music scene and the six groups saw the tour as a sensational success. More than 100 favorable reviews and articles appeared throughout the continent in magazines, newspapers, and local fanzines. Our record distributor-Enemy Records-saw the positive effect on sales. We noticed that European tourists were starting to come to the club. German television arrived to do a special. Other venues in Europe contacted us to put a package of “downtown artists” together for them. After we’d had a few months to swallow the mixed results, the idea of future tours in Europe didn’t seem so bad.

The following summer, 1991, with a more realistic lineup of four groups and having made all the arrangements myself from New York, we had fewer problems. We broke even financially, sold a lot of merchandise, and were able to promote our records-all dramatic changes from the previous year. The interest and respect of the European audience for outside-the-mainstream music ensure that our European tour will be at least, a yearly event.