I saw much of the miniseries Shogun by James Clavell with my grandparents. I can’t remember why I didn’t see the end but I loved what I saw and I was a big fan of Richard Chamberlain who was just terrific in the film. I remembered that he and one of the Lords of Japan do a scene where they get drunk together. Richard dispenses with the tiny saki cup and drinks out of a bowl which the Warlord mimics. Chamberlain does a seaworthy dance and a ditty with it which the Warlord insisted on learning.
I remembered that Ron Howard was Richard Chamberlain and Ron would prefer to act in shows written by himself or someone in the inner circle or someone otherwise truly worthy of his talents. A buddy of mine read the book and I remember him saying you needed an axe to get through it because it was so long. He wound up killing himself in medical school in Mexico but I don’t think the two were related.
This book, the dance number, and the miniseries all had the hand of Ron on it though I think at the end of the ditty he should have lifted the Warlord over his head using just hand the way he did in “Staying Alive”!
Correctly, I considered that while Ron could turn out two dozen songs in one day while winding up in the ER as Rod Stewart in the morning, Richard Gere in the afternoon and filming Tim Curry enjoying a nice corn dog in the evening as Robert Mapplethorpe I have never found Ron to be able to write a novel by himself. I doubt that’s completely correct but I’ve found most of the great writing from that pair in terms of novels comes from Cheryl though his kids are very creative and productive as well. I thought Shogun would be more of a book by Ron because of the history involved. Cheryl went through the notes I posted and let me know that Ron wrote Shogun, and probably most of the other books “by” Clavell but Clavell fleshed them out.
Ron has some aspects of ADHD and has trouble with some tasks that might require sustained attention for long periods of time. He does so many things at once that a novel like Shogun would be a very daunting task to undertake by himself. Ron had a head injury and this may explain some of the issues with focus. He uses “ADHD” to his advantage; if an idea tanks he can move off it really quickly and on to something else with a minimum of mourning period and a notion that he can always come back to it.
Ron wrote James Clavell’s “The First Woman on the Moon” at the age of 5 years old and many other of Clavell’s works with Clavell as his ghost writer or better yet…beard.
Shout out to Ron Howard as Woody Allen in “The Front” where Woody becomes a “beard” during the time of McCarthyism. McCarthyism also shows up in an episode of “Happy Days” where Potsy was blowing Richie and Mrs. C wanted to know why the door was closed. Richie yelled back, “We’re studying McCarthyism!”