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.

« back to biography

We're Special

Between May 1989 and June 1990, A&M released Live at the Knitting Factory Volumes 1 through 4. These are compilations of various artists that Bob recorded and we both selected to represent the music being made at the club. Sales would have been okay for an independent label, but for a company that is used to selling Janet Jackson, Sting, and Joan Armtrading, they were dismal . I remember being told by one of the now ex-senior executives at A&M that the Knitting Factory was their “Special Olympics project.” On top of that, A&M was acquired between volumes 2 and 3 by Polygram Records for $500 million, just as the economy was going bad. The Knitting Factory as a record label was not going to happen with this corporate giant. (At the time of this writing, we have ended our contract. We bought the entire existing inventory of Knitting Factory CDs and tapes from A&M before they could be cut out and dumped on the market.)

Even with the support of a major label at that time, we had to take the promotion and marketing into our own hands in order to get the artists on the records exposed to more than the audience sitting in the club. It was time to take the Knitting Factory on the road.