Carmel Valley Conventions – Brown’s Ranch

Jimmy Bumstead, Little Dave, Bob Morton rock - Photo by Bill Decker

If memory serves me correct this is Jimmy Bumstead (drums) Little Dave, Bob Morton (facing) rock a Carmel Valley Meda Convention back in early 1970s - Photo by Bill Decker

Carmel Valley in the old days was considered the sticks – depending on type of vehicle, and pit stops it took about a two beers as the crow flies before one got to the Carmel Valley turnoff off Interstate 5 and another 1 to two beers to get to Brown’s Cattle Ranch. Browns Ranch was not really owned by Brown, he had the property just North, but just an easy name to remember and one that become iconic with Mac Meda Conventions.

When the cops were on a rampage in La Jolla and had a bounty out for Conventions, organizers thought it was best to find a more secluded area. And a area that was indestructible. Carmel Valley was the perfect road trip and besides, anyone living in La Jolla, knows that June gloom, puts a beach-worshiper on a bummer.

Meda Conventions were always held on Sunday, and noon was the unofficial time and there were about 3-5 a year.

After the turn off and past Rosendos Hideaway, and when the road veered to the North, this was the start of Black Mountain Road. When one found a straight road lined with Eucalyptus trees, they looked for the gate that looked like it had been stampede by cattle. After following a very dusty dirt road that weaved between shrub brush it came to a bluff of Eucalyptus trees. This is where the cars parked like a dropped can of pick-up-sticks.  Below was a small earthen dam lined with Eucalyptus trees provided the perfect setting and shade for a Convention.

What was better, drinking on a cloudless day, enjoying the view of a stagnant pond with Mud Hens seeking cover in the reeds, and cow shit littering the area. There was no restrooms, when natural called, it was, La Natural.

The Brown’s Ranch Conventions are legendary. Rock bands, powered by generators, music echoed to Del Mar and rattled the ears of as many as 800 people that came from all lifestyles. Pickup trucks crammed with ice and kegs arrived in parting of the Red Sea scenario. A bottle of Tequila and Jack was always being passed around, and pot usually filtered the air.   Occasional a few were seen wandering in the O-zone wasted on some psychedelic.  A dollar got all the beer you could drink.

A trash can or keg with the top cut off filled with Red Mountain Wine laced with a variety of mix and a block of ice got you a 16-ounce drink for those that were not beer drinkers.

On a hot day alcohol took effect very fast. It was common to see the 1,2,3 punch – people staggering by 1, puking by 2, and passed out by 3. And usually the first fight broke out by 2:30 and normally started by an out-of-towner.

Some just were not as well-trained in the art of consuming as others.


  1. Jim Heck says:

    Between 1968 and 1975 I lived one mile past Rosendo’s where the road took a HARD left. There were several occasions when I would get to the end of our half mile gated driveway in the morning to catch the school bus, And would see an abandoned car which did not make the curve the night before…. Now I know why

  2. Richard Brubaker says:

    I never knew they were called ANYTHING/PLACE…I just followed somebody, set up and played.
    Jimmy Bumstead wasn’t with me anymore, and Bob lived in PB…(everybody thought he was a dead ringer for Jim Morrison).
    Funny how when you get older, you learn things like this.

  3. ok after re-reading this I take it all back..this is what we used to call the olive groves…Charlie Rimback did own it…and I still say its a good thing mr. Brown didn’t find out cause he would have had a field day chasing everyone around in his truck with the dogs yelling ‘get the hippies, get the hippies’

  4. Browns? I don’t think so Mr. Brown would have had a cow…literly ran any ‘hippy’ to the ground… But I think this particular place was owned by Charlie Rimback, he owned most of the pasture where we kept our horses and out towards Rudy’s hidden acres which is where the concerts where held…I think…mind you I was just a tiny child when all this was happening, but the whole Browns Ranch was my stomping ground, and like I said if Mr. Brown knew any of this was happening even sort of by his ranch he would have come in that crappy old truck with his dogs and that would have been that.

    • candy weston says:

      NORWOOD Brown,would have just shot you all,what year are you talking abouwe used to ride our horses out to the olive grove,just to camp out,and all the debris from the parties was still laying around.when it was foggy and we had a few beers,had to rely on the horses to get us back..really great fog,used to end up in the El Camino cemetery if you veered to far south.

  5. Jimmy Bumstead on drums bob morton on guitar

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