Like many of Ben Folds's songs, "Not The Same" is a true story about a strange character he has seen in his life. Much like Steven, the man who wouldn't leave, from "Steven's Last Night In Town," the character in "Not The Same" makes an impression on all those who observe him. But it was up to Ben Folds to chronicle this strange man's life.
"Not The Same" is a story of a man who took acid and climbed up a tree during a party thrown by Robert Sledge (the bassist for Ben Folds Five). Apparently, he didn't climb down from the tree until the next morning, after everyone else had left the party, and when he did come down, he was a born-again Christian. And, according to Ben's introduction to the song in concert, the man in the song is still spreading God's word to this day.
"It's where religion and drugs meet back on the other side," says Ben on a live recording of the song.