Former interior secretary James Watt (whatever happened to him anyway?) and his curious dislike of the Beach Boys notwithstanding, the group that was the sound of the '60s played its ageless hit "Barbara Ann" at the White House yesterday with First Lady Barbara Bush bouncing happily to the music. The Beach Boys were in the East Room with pop idol Tiffany, MTV veejay Martha Quinn, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., actress Sally Kirkland, and actor Chad Allen to introduce StarServe. That's a new "Thousand Points of Light" program to encourage young people to get involved in community service. But before anything could get underway, the door had to be shut because a neglected Millie was nearby barking loudly.

"I can't remember what year it was," related Beach Boy Mike Love, "but we came here to the White House when the former occupants still lived here. And after a benefit we went to a birthday bash at the vice president's house. We have a videotape of us trying to teach George Bush how to sing 'Barbara Ann.' It was a great moment in history." Then Love added, "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to sing this song."

Out and About The Kennedy Center works hard to keep secret the names of presenters at the annual Kennedy Center Honors. Last year the gala audience was stunned when Archbishop Desmond Tutu walked onto the stage in a salute to Harry Belafonte. This year the star most people are waiting to see wearing the medallion around her neck is the venerable 81-year-old Katharine Hepburn. There will be three presenters for her: theater legends Angela Lansbury and Lauren Bacall along with legend-in-the-making Glenn Close. Bill Cosby will honor Dizzy Gillespie. The audience will be filled with some 120 other show business stars including Marilyn Horne, Suzanne Farrell, Ron Silver and Cybill Shepherd ...

That Holiday Pre-Inaugural Gala for D.C. Mayor-elect Sharon Pratt Dixon, the one that caused WJLA-TV reporter Del Walters so much trouble because it was going to be held at his house, is still going on, but not at Walters's home. His wife, Robin, is off the list of party sponsors and Walters himself never was a sponsor. But because of the flap he has been taken off Channel 7's city hall beat. Dixon's fund-raiser will be Dec. 8 at the McLean home of physicians Caryl Mussenden and Rodney Ellis ...

Former president Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, are on the road again. They will lunch with Queen Elizabeth II and visit with an old pal, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, when they are in London next week. Reagan is to address the Cambridge Union Society at Cambridge University and speak at another dinner given by the Atlantic Richfield Co. Since Reagan was paid $2 million for a speaking tour of Japan after leaving the White House, the question of money comes up, but spokesman Mark Weinberg says his boss will not be paid for this visit to Britain ...

It won't be pretty girls or Bob Hope. But three National Symphony Orchestra musicians -- violinist Charles Wetherbee, violist Roberto Diaz and cellist James Lee -- will be traveling to the Persian Gulf Dec. 18 to entertain aboard two ships: the USS Blue Ridge and a USNS medical ship. The trip, sponsored by the classical music station WGMS, will also include WGMS personality Dennis Owens, who will host the program of classical selections and seasonal carols interspersed with Christmas readings by Owens ...