Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Did David "The Worm" Wormsley trick Guy Hands into buying EMI?

This is an old story. The Telegraph covered it last December - here. But I've haven't written about "The Worm" before, although I have written about Guy Hands and his rock and roll lifestyle on a number of occasions. Having said that, [what? old story, yes] these two ex-friends are in the news again, accusing each other of all sorts. David Wormsley (chairman of UK banking at Citigroup, by the way) says he had 'not the blindest bit of thing about it.' He's referring to the allegation that he didn't tell Terra Firma (Hands' firm) that Cerberus had withdrawn from bidding for EMI. It's all very confusing. The Telegraph can explain it better than I can.

But did "The Worm" really trick Guy Hands? I have been speaking to "The Worm". This is what was said: 'Michael, old chap, is there any chance you can stop calling me "The Worm"? It's extremely vulgar. (I haven't called you "The Worm" yet, mate.) No, but I have a feeling you'll be using it in your post about me. So please - (Dave, mate, are you psychic or something? How do you know I'll be calling you "The Worm" in my post?) Can you call me David? (I can call you Mr Wormsley if you like. If you're going to be funny about it.) David will do. (All right, David, let's have the truth about the EMI debacle. What happened?) Guy Hands is a fantasist. He has no grip on reality. I suppose he believes the things he says, but that doesn't mean we should. (Can I quote you on that?) Yes, you certainly can. And it's no surprise really. If you're going to spend all your time living the rock and roll lifestyle - Jack Daniel's, cocaine, groupies, you know the sort of thing - then your thinking is going to become terribly muddled. Look at what happened to that silly man, Jim Morrison. (David, don't have a pop at Jim Morrison. He's a hero of mine. A rock and roll shaman! A man of the desert! And he's one of Guy's closest friends.) Jim Morrison is dead. (And? Your point is?) How can Guy be friends with a dead man? (Well, it's pretty obvious, ain't it? They meet up on the astral plane.) The astral what? (The astral plane. Have you ever read my blog, Dave?) Well, I've glanced at it. (You've glanced at it?! You're going to have to do a bit more than glance at it, son, if you want to survive in the business world today. The times they are a-changin'.) Eh? (Don't you know anything about financial shamanism? I've heard people describe you as a rainmaker.) Rainmaker? That just means I'm a top man at Citigroup, that's all. (Oh, for fuck's sake! Top man at Citigroup?! That means nothing to me. I was under the impression you were a little bit, you know, a touch mystical, like. This has been a complete waste of my time, this has. Are you pleased with yourself?) Mr Fowke, I thought you wanted to speak about the EMI deal. (Well, I don't. Forget it.) Goodbye, Mr Fowke.'

Then he put the phone down. What an absolute - well, I won't say what he is. I should have spoken with Guy Hands. Yes, I know he's out of it half the time, but at least you can have a bit of a laugh with him. I won't ever be phoning "The Worm" again, that's for sure.