Lita Ford first left The Runaways because other band members were gay
Lita Ford was interviewed by Alyona Minkovski of HuffPost Live on February 23, 2016 and spoke about a number of topics including her childhood and The Runaways.
With respect to why she initially left The Runaways, Ford stated: “This was in the early ’70s, mid-’70s, so I was not aware of homosexuality. I didn’t know anything about it. And it was still in the closet. Nobody came out and said, ‘I’m gay.’ Nobody came out at that time. And when I found out that the girls were all gay in the band, I wasn’t sure how to take it and I didn’t know what it was ’cause I was only sixteen at the time. And I quit the band. I went home and I told my parents that it was the manager’s fault. I blamed it all on him and said that he was too weird and I couldn’t handle him. He was just too freaky and uh, but that wasn’t the case. So I had given it a couple of weeks and thought about it, and I thought: ‘You know, it’s really no big deal. I shouldn’t worry about that. And I hope to God that they call me back and get me back in the band.’ Because I was thinking that they would go on to achieve superstar status and that I would just be sitting at home and doing nothing. And uh, thank God they called me back and they said: ‘Lita — we can’t find anybody that can play guitar like you. Please come back.'”
When asked if they knew why she left, Ford replied, “I don’t think so. I don’t think so.” In regard to whether there were any hard feelings, Ford stated: “No, there wasn’t. And they knew I was straight. They didn’t bother me about it. We didn’t bag on each other about it. We just carried on because it was no big deal. But, to me, it was back then, and it just really threw me for a loop. I didn’t know that people do that.”