Pete Townshend has gone on record saying that the Who and the Beatles inspired each other throughout 1967. Townshend claims that Paul McCartney told him he had taken note of the band's 1966 mini-opera, “A Quick One While He's Away,” which helped formed the song cycle of the following year's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — with Pepper leading to the Who recording that year's The Who Sell Out.
In the new Classic Albums special on The Who Sell Out, Townshend spoke about the Beatles-Who connection and the music around it: “On the Herman's Hermits tour, we were listening to Sgt. Pepper, and I was enchanted by it — I think we all were. We thought it really was an amazing piece of studio craftsmanship, and y'know, the idea of the studio — the recording studio — as a tool, as a machine for craft. And I was bathed in that. Y'know, I'd always had a studio since I was 18 — a recording studio. y'know? I actually persuaded (Paul) McCartney to get himself a studio at home. Y'know, he was saying, 'I don't have to deal with that, because I've got Abbey Road (Studios at my disposal).' I would've been very happy not to tour and to do what the Beatles did and sit in the recording studio.”