His crime? He started a prerecorded tape 15 seconds late.
Townshend grabbed Pridden by the neck dragged him to wards the mixing desk before throwing him to the floor in the middle of the stage. There followed an attack on the mixing desk, amplifiers and equipment by Townshend and a stoppage of 25 minutes in the show.
Pridden picked himself up and walked out of the theatre only to be persuaded to return by Bill Curbishley (record producer) and others. Townshend apologised later but this was another example of The Who’s guitarists erratic behaviour. Not to be confused with the ritualistic destruction of guitars on stage it would seem that Townshend had ‘anger management issues’ (I mean substance abuse issues) that affected his emotions and actions both on and off stage.