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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Returning to Madison, Swamp Thing based itself in the Midwest, playing gigs and weekend tours in local bars and clubs. I was getting work for the band by moonlighting as an agent, manager, and record-company executive. I had entered the University of Wisconsin Law School for a year, so my parents were covering my room and board. My bedroom was filled with law books and boxes of records. My first Macintosh computer contained more data on record stores than criminal records. I spent most evenings that year trying to collect the money we were owed for all the records we’d sent out for free and checking to see whether radio stations were even playing them. Swamp Thing would go out on the road and play shows for a week around the Great Lakes or on the East Coast, then return home owing people money, which I would usually pay off with a check. I was getting a bit antsy, so Flaming Pie Records released a compilation album of Madison bands called The Mad Scene. I organized two big concerts with the bands who would appear on the record in order to raise money for the manufacturing of 1,000 copies. The record did wonderfully in Wisconsin and generated lots of press, but sold approximately 87 albums around the world. (Rare copies of the record can still be purchased from us at the club.)

Swamp Thing