“The secret is you can’t stop in-between. Because if you stop, you never get back.”
Every night for the past two years, Roger Pollard’s phone starts pinging at around 3am California time as people comment on his Instagram feed. The 62 year-old can’t read many of the notifications because they are coming in too fast and they are in Russian, German, even Arabic. The reason for this avalanche of late-night notifications? As they get their days started, Roger’s fans need to see what he posted the night before.
And the reason they have to check might be because of videos like this:
Pollard is known as OG to his fans — it stands for “old guy,” not “original gangster.” He has over 148,000 followers on Instagram and has appeared in more than 11 music videos. By day, Pollard runs a construction management company in Tracy, California. By night, he dons his signature OG camp shirt and is welcomed into Bay Area nightclubs, where he has become a hip-hop legend.
When Pollard first started to hit the clubs, he got looks. Now when he walks in, some club kid is bound to yell, “OGP is in the house!” Senior Planet spoke to OG Pollard by phone to learn the story of his post-divorce reinvention as a hip-hop star and how this fame game is affecting him.
Tell us about how you started dancing.
When I first started dancing, in high school, the dance was the Twist and the Lindy hop, and Chubby Checker was huge. Then we went through all the changes of the Monkey, the Slim and the Boogaloo and through the dreadful disco years. I ended up in hip-hop.
What drew you to the hip-hop and clubbing scene?
In 2009 I separated from my wife — she separated from me, let’s put it that way — so I lost my dance partner. I picked out a dance medium where you don’t have to have a partner, and that happened to be hip-hop. With hip-hop you just walk out to the middle of the dance floor and you kick your moves. If you have good moves you’ll have dance partners all night. And if you don’t have good moves, then at least you’ll have a good time. A long time ago, I promised myself I would never walk around asking women to dance and wasting time. So I went there to dance and not to try and please someone out on the dance floor. It worked out for me.
When you’re out dancing hip hop, you’re usually wearing a button-down shirt — not like everyone else. How did that come about?
All of the kids were wearing plaid. If you remember, Notorious had black plaid under the jacket outfit he used to wear. Black-and-white plaid, yellow-black plaid, blue-black plaid. I didn’t want to try and imitate them, because I had a style of my own. I was very much into camp-style shirts, and now I wear the same camp-style shirts but instead of flowers, I’m into vertical stripes.
Does your Internet fame surprise you?
Yes, I am totally surprised, because all I do is dance. It’s so funny to me that I have blown up like this in the past three years, but it’s fun. Who would have ever thought an old white man on the hip-hop floor would be a phenomenon?
If you had to name your favorite hip-hop artist of all time, who would it be?
Of all time? Eminem. And I can give you my top five: Eminem, number 1. Tupac, number 2. Biggie Smalls, number 3. Lil Wayne, number 4. And number 5 is a toss-up between Chris Brown and Ludacris.
What advice would you give your 30 year old self?
Same advice I give the 30-year-olds now who say they want to be me at my age. The secret to being me at my age is you can’t stop in-between, because if you stop, you never get back. So one guy said, “I want to be just like you when I grow up,” and I said, “Well you are going to have to get up off of that bar stool and get on the dance floor then, because sitting on that bar stool isn’t doing you any good. Just don’t stop. Keep partying.”